Biological & Soft Matter Seminar: Bubbles-Enhanced Ultrasound: Unlocking New Horizons for Targeted Therapy and Advanced Imaging
Tali Ilovitsh, TAU
Ultrasound is a widely used medical imaging and therapeutic modality, due to its safety, noninvasiveness, large penetration depth and cost effectiveness compared to other modalities. My talk will highlight our recent ultrasound-based technologies for noninvasive imaging and therapy using contrast agents and low frequency ultrasound. In the first part of my talk I will present methods of acoustical beam shaping and super resolution that overcome challenges that are associated with ultrasound imaging, including resolution, depth of field, and contrast.
In parallel, our research is focused on the development of therapeutic ultrasound methods for cancer and brain therapy using a unique combination of gas bubbles and low frequency ultrasound. We discovered that microbubbles, which are efficient ultrasound theranostic probes, oscillate significantly when excited by a frequency that is an order below their resonance frequency. Building on this discovery, enhanced blood brain barrier opening in mice was developed. This platform also enables microbubble-mediated gene delivery to cancer cells by poking large holes in cell membranes. In addition, it can be used for low pressure mechanical ultrasound surgery of solid tumors. Recently we were the first to establish low-energy ultrasound surgery using 180 nm nanobubbles for noninvasive cancer therapy. Lastly, I will present a two-step approach for in vivo low energy nanodroplet-mediated cancer surgery, which vaporizes nanodroplets into microbubbles and then triggers potent mechanical effects using low frequency ultrasound. These advances in ultrasound imaging and therapy open new avenues in early disease diagnosis and evaluation of disease progression, in addition to enhanced therapy for brain and cancer related disease.