Translational studies of pulsed HIFU enhanced tissue permeability: Mechanisms in mouse and rabbit models

Brian E. O'Neill, Christof Karmonik, Elisabetta Sassaroli, King C.P. Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Enhanced tissue permeability resulting from pulsed high intensity focused ultrasound (pHIFU) has been studied for over a decade now. Most of these studies have been in mouse models. To proceed to the clinic, two questions remain to be answered, first, what is the mechanism of action, and second, can it be scaled to humans. The goal of our ongoing research is to provide clear answers to these questions. An Insightec ExAblate 2000 3T MR guided focused ultrasound device was used to sonicate the thigh muscle of rabbits. The sonication parameters were similar to those successfully used in the many earlier mouse studies. Experimental work was supplemented with theoretical modeling to test earlier assumptions regarding tissue heating and radiation force induced strains in computer models of mouse and bulk muscle. Our results suggest that the thermal dose, rather than peak acoustic or half-harmonics power, appears as the best indicator of improved transport. These studies indicate that the parameters and assumptions from earlier studies in mouse models must be re-evaluated for larger animals and humans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2009 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium and Short Courses, IUS 2009
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)9781424443895
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2009 - Rome, Italy
Duration: Sep 20 2009Sep 23 2009

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium
ISSN (Print)1051-0117


Other2009 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium, IUS 2009


  • Drug delivery
  • Enhanced tissue permeability
  • MRI guided focused ultrasound
  • Pulsed HIFU
  • Translational studies

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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