Efficient Blood-Brain Barrier Opening in Primates with Neuronavigation-Guided Ultrasound and Real-Time Acoustic Mapping
Brain diseases including neurological disorders and tumors remain under treated due to the challenge to access the brain, and blood-brain barrier (BBB) restricting drug delivery which, also profoundly limits the development of pharmacological treatment. Focused ultrasound (FUS) with microbubbles is the sole method to open the BBB noninvasively, locally, and transiently and facilitate drug delivery, while translation to the clinic is challenging due to long procedure, targeting limitations, or invasiveness of current systems. In order to provide rapid, flexible yet precise applications, we have designed a noninvasive FUS and monitoring system with the protocol tested in monkeys (from in silico preplanning and simulation, real-time targeting and acoustic mapping, to post-treatment assessment). With a short procedure (30 min) similar to current clinical imaging duration or radiation therapy, the achieved targeting (both cerebral cortex and subcortical structures) and monitoring accuracy was close to the predicted 2-mm lower limit. This system would enable rapid clinical transcranial FUS applications outside of the MRI system without a stereotactic frame, thereby benefiting patients especially in the elderly population.
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- Scientific Reports