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Conf Proc IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2008;2008:4246-9. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2008.4650147.

Ultrasound induced increase in excitability of single neurons.

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Harrington Department of Bioengineering, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287, USA.


The aim of this study was to carefully assess the level of modulation in electrical excitability of single neurons with the application of high frequency ultrasound. High frequency tone bursts of ultrasound have been shown to dramatically increase the spike frequency of primary hippocampal neurons in culture. In addition, these ultrasonic bursts also induce silent or still developing neurons to fire. Results indicate that the increase in excitability is largely mediated by mechanical effects and not thermal effects of ultrasound. Future studies on culture models exposed to varying ultrasound protocols may provide insight into the feasibility of using ultrasound as a means for neurostimulation studies conducted on brain slice and in vivo models.

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