Real-time Ultrasound Thermometry


Ultrasound imaging can spatially map small temperature changes resulting from hyperthermia. In our laboratory we release drugs from vehicles using mild hyperthermia.  We have developed temperature-sensitive nanoparticles in which a drug is sequestered in a crystal at neutral pH and encapsulated in a lipid shell with a low melting point.  After temperature-mediated release, the crystal is dissolved in a tumor or lysosome.  By combining these particles with ultrasound, a large fraction of drug is delivered into tumors without systemic toxicity and we are achieving a complete response in local disease in a protocol that is not possible with existing agents.  Combining this treatment with an immune adjuvant, we observe a powerful systemic anti-tumor response. 

Picture2We are currently developing transducers and systems for real-time ultrasound thermometry based on 256-element arrays and a Verasonics platform.  These transducers include a 2D therapeutic array that is confocally focused with an imaging array and provide the ability to steer the therapeutic beam in three dimensions.

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