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Physics Colloquium: Applications of Focused Ultrasound Energy in Medicine
Wednesday, Oct 7, 2015
4 p.m. - 5:15 p.m. Location: SLC 1.102

Dr. Rajiv Chopra (UT Southwestern)

     High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) is a form of image-guided therapy capable of noninvasive tissue ablation and drug delivery. Similar to the concentration of light energy to a focal point using a lens, HIFU can concentrate acoustic energy within the body to a region of a few millimeters in dimension. The energy at the focus is sufficient to thermally coagulate tissues – rendering them permanently destroyed – without causing any damage to intervening tissues.
     Ultrasound is an attractive form of energy for therapeutic use since it can be transmitted through the body from external transducers, can be focused to localized regions of a few mm, and can be generated from devices of multiple geometries ranging from large focused transducers to catheter based devices. A unique set of capabilities arises when this technology is combined with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The ultrasound technology is able to non-invasively deliver energy within the body for applications such as mild heating or tissue ablation, and MRI is able to acquire images of the temperature distribution in the heated tissues during heating. Since the relationship between temperature, time and cell kill is well established, this creates a powerful closed loop method for treating soft tissues.
     Another emerging application of HIFU is to potentiate or enable targeted delivery of agents within the body. Ultrasound can be used to trigger release from temperature sensitive liposomes, or to non- invasively open the blood brain barrier. These capabilities open up many possibilities for targeted drug delivery in the brain and other organs with pre-existing vascular barriers.
     The lecture will review the concepts of focused ultrasound interactions in tissue, and give an overview of current applications and results from the research ongoing at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Contact Info:
Michael Kesden, 972-883-3598
Questions? Email me.

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