Brain/Bio Medical Microsystems Lab


Ultrasound Neuromodulation

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Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasound Transducer (CMUT)
Conventional ultrasound transducers are bulky and unsuitable for simultaneous electrophysiological monitoring. Capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducers (CMUTs) utilize traditional silicon-based microfabrication technologies to achieve highly configurable designs in a miniaturized package compatible with integrated circuits. A thin silicon membrane acts as the diaphragm for each micro-cell and a AC/DC voltage is applied across the vacuum cavity to deliver ultrasound pulses. Compared to conventional ultrasound transducers, CMUTs present numerous advantages such as easy fabrication of large arrays, large bandwidth, high sensitivity, and integration with various circuitry. In addition, CMUT arrays with various geometries and dimensions have been widely applied for biomedical ultrasound applications.
Freely moving neuromodulation
Current ultrasound stimulation for preclinical studies is limited to acute, anesthesia-dependent, and open-loop applications. CMUT-based setups enable lightweight, miniaturized, and closed-loop designs for ultrasound neuromodulation in freely moving animals. Consequentially, CMUTs for ultrasound neuromodulation have demonstrated motor response in freely moving mice, as well as neuronal stimulation in vitro.
Brain stimulation for neural circuits
Miniaturized ultrasound transducers have advanced the field towards investigating and treating neurological and metabolic diseases. Recently, there have been reports of ultrasound stimulation for modulating well-established neural circuits in both the central and peripheral nervous systems. Exploratory preclinical studies using chronic, closed-loop ultrasound neuromodulation in naturally behaving animals is critical for widespread clinical translation.
  • The impact of CT image parameters and skull heterogeneity modeling on the accuracy of transcranial focused ultrasound simulations

    H. Montanaro, C. Pasquinelli, H.J. Lee, H. Kim, H.R. Siebner, N. Kuster, A. Thielscher, and E. Neufeld*
    Journal of Neural Engineering Accepted Manuscript (2021)

  • Transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation with high spatial resolution 

    S. Kim, Y. Jo, G. Kook, C. Pasquinelli, H. Kim, K. Kim, H.S. Hoe, Y. Choe, H. Rhim, A. Thielscher, J. Kim*, and H.J. Lee*
    Brain Stimulation 14(2), 290-300 (2021) Featured as Front Cover [link]

  • Transducer modeling for accurate acoustic simulations of transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation

    C. Pasquinelli, H. Montanaro, H. J. Lee, L. G. Hanson, H. Kim, N. Kuster, H. R. Siebner, E. Neufeld, and A. Thielscher*

    Journal of Neural Engineering 17, 046010 (2020) [link]

  • Acoustic matching layer films (MLFs) using B stage thermosetting polymer resins for ultrasound transducer applications
    J. Park, S. Lee, J. Park, H. J. Lee, and K. Paik*
    IEEE Transactions on Ultrasound 2999178 (2020) [link]

  • Miniature ultrasound ring array transducers for transcranial ultrasound neuromodulation of freely-moving small animals
    H. Kim, S. Kim, N. S. Sim, C. Pasquinelli, A. Thielscher, J. H. Lee, and H. J. Lee*
    Brain Stimulation 11 (1), 115-124 (2019) [link]