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Engineers use short ultrasound pulses to reach neurons through blood-brain barrier
Date:9/19/2011

enhance the intended mechanical effect, and a high-field MRI to detect and map the area of BBB opening as well as quantify the permeability of the opened BBB. They also used fluorescence confocal microscopy to visualize the molecular diffusion and neuronal enhancement in 3-D to identify both highlighted neurons and their network.

More testing is planned with therapeutic drug treatments. Konofagou's team has shown that therapeutic molecules trigger downstream effects after diffusion through the blood-brain barrier, starting with the cell membrane and all the way through the nucleus. They also are unveiling the mechanism of the opening that involves stable oscillation or collapse of the bubble, with the former being the preferred mechanism as it is? completely controlled by the pressure and microbubble size.

The blood-brain barrier has been shown to recover within the range of three hours to three days depending on the aforementioned parameters used. Konofagou's group has also recently reported that transcranial human targeting of the hippocampus, caudate, and putamen in the human brain is feasible in both simulations and in vitro experiments, thus paving the way towards clinical applications.


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Contact: Holly Evarts
holly@engineering.columbia.edu
212-854-3206
Columbia University
Source:Eurekalert

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