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Handheld microfocused ultrasound device for facial lifting: A preliminary study of ULTIGHT.

OBJECTIVE: Although focused ultrasound modalities have achieved positive clinical results in noninvasive skin rejuvenation, they presented various side effects and particularly severe pain during treatment. This study introduces a microfocused ultrasound (MFU) device, ULTIGHT, to overcome the severe pain issue, providing quasi-facial lifting.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Transducer surface was imaged with a scanning electron microscope. The energies of four treatment cartridges were measured using an ultrasound power meter. In vitro experiments were performed to quantitatively evaluate the MFU thermal zones (MFUTZs) and treatment line (TL) of 10 MFUTZs. Ex vivo experiments were performed to evaluate the MFUTZs and temperature rise in tissue. Clinical trials using eight volunteers were performed to qualitatively evaluate facial lifting.

RESULTS: The MFU transducer clearly showed a smooth and no air gap surface. ULTIGHT produced 10 discrete MFUTZs in a TL of length 10 mm. In ex vivo tissue, discrete linear MFUTZs were clearly observed at lower number of TLs; however, they started to aggregate at higher number of TLs. The temperature rise was linearly increased as a function of the number of treatments. A single MFUTZ resulted in a temperature rise of 3°C-10°C that could cause hyperthermia for body temperature. In the clinical trials, the volunteers showed quasi-facial lifting right after treatment on the lower facial region.

CONCLUSIONS: ULTIGHT provides relatively low energy, which may be advantageous or disadvantageous depending on clinical applications. Additionally, it has the advantage of being pain-free even without anesthetic during treatment, providing quasi-facial lifting right after treatment.

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