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Int J Imaging Syst Technol. 2012 Sep;22(3):177-184.

Image-guided Navigation of Single-element Focused Ultrasound Transducer.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA ; Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
2
Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
3
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Korea.
4
Department of Radiology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA ; School of Nano-Bioscience and Chemical Engineering, Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology, Ulsan, Korea.

Abstract

The spatial specificity and controllability of focused ultrasound (FUS), in addition to its ability to modify the excitability of neural tissue, allows for the selective and reversible neuromodulation of the brain function, with great potential in neurotherapeutics. Intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) guidance (in short, MRg) has limitations due to its complicated examination logistics, such as fixation through skull screws to mount the stereotactic frame, simultaneous sonication in the MRI environment, and restrictions in choosing MR-compatible materials. In order to overcome these limitations, an image-guidance system based on optical tracking and pre-operative imaging data is developed, separating the imaging acquisition for guidance and sonication procedure for treatment. Techniques to define the local coordinates of the focal point of sonication are presented. First, mechanical calibration detects the concentric rotational motion of a rigid-body optical tracker, attached to a straight rod mimicking the sonication path, pivoted at the virtual FUS focus. The spatial error presented in the mechanical calibration was compensated further by MRI-based calibration, which estimates the spatial offset between the navigated focal point and the ground-truth location of the sonication focus obtained from a temperature-sensitive MR sequence. MRI-based calibration offered a significant decrease in spatial errors (1.9±0.8 mm; 57% reduction) compared to the mechanical calibration method alone (4.4±0.9 mm). Using the presented method, pulse-mode FUS was applied to the motor area of the rat brain, and successfully stimulated the motor cortex. The presented techniques can be readily adapted for the transcranial application of FUS to intact human brain.

KEYWORDS:

brain; calibration; focused ultrasound; image-guidance; neuromodulation; optical tracking; single-element transducer

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