Acoustoelectric Image-Guided Ultrasound Therapy

Technology #ua14-130

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Yexian Qin
Research Associate, Medical Imaging
Qian Li
Graduate Associate, Medical Imaging
Charles Ingram
Research Specialist, Radiology
Russell Witte
Associate Professor, Radiology
Managed By
Rakhi Gibbons
Asst. Director, Life Sciences (520) 626-6695

Background:  Existing ultrasound therapies suffer from a need to separately image the tissue being treated, in order to ensure correct spatial resolution and localization, to minimize the risk of erroneous ablations. Current mapping techniques, such as Electro Anatomical Mapping (EAM) suffer from a long procedure time and cannot update their map during the ultrasound therapy. Thus, there is a need for a procedure which simultaneously images and ablates tissue, with high spatial accuracy and localization.

Invention: This technology overcomes this limitation by providing a biofeedback map which is generated during the ultrasound procedure and is constantly updating based on the ablations being done. By scanning the sample with the ultra sound transducer, or using an array of transducers, a map is created of the sample’s electrical properties (e.g., instantaneous current density distribution or resistivity), which can be related to the tissue’s structure or physical prope1tie s, such as an infarct or scar tissue. This same transducer can simultaneously collect pulse-echo data for creating ultrasound images which are automatically co-registered with the map of current densities. Pathological tissue or tissue targeted for therapy can then be treated (via ablation, acoustic cavitation or modest heating). Since imaging and ablation are done with the same transducer, high spatial accuracy is achieved.

Application: This technology can be used with any ultrasound therapy to improve ablation efficacy, localization, reduce procedure time, and make the procedure safer and less invasive.



This invention has been demonstrated to be superior to the state-of-the-art in (a) theory, (b) simulations, and © using real data. Our simulation results show orders of magnitude in improvement, as compared to traditional methods. Real results from data closely replicate the performance of our simulations.

  • Imaging is co-registered with therapy.
  • Improves ablation efficacy/accuracy; ablations guided by biocurrent density information relevant to the tissue being ablated.
  • Improved accuracy, improved spatial resolution, localization (reduced number of erroneous ablations). Reduced procedure time spent on mapping compared to ElectroAnatomical Mapping (EAM).
  • Method requires a minimal # of electrodes for mapping current flow imaging component is safe and does not require ionizing radiation.

Lead Inventor: Dr. Russell Witte

UA ID:  UA14-130