Time-reversal Techniques in Ultrasound-assisted Convection-enhanced Drug Delivery to the Brain: Technology Development and In Vivo Evaluation

Proc Meet Acoust. 2011 Jul 10;11:20005-20031. doi: 10.1121/1.3616358.


We describe a drug delivery method that combines Time-Reversal Acoustics (TRA) with Convection-Enhanced Delivery (CED) to improve the delivery of therapeutics to the interstitium of the brain. The Ultrasound-assisted CED approach (UCED) circumvents the blood-brain barrier by infusing compounds through a cannula that is inserted into the brain while simultaneously delivering ultrasound to improve the penetration of pharmaceuticals. CED without ultrasound-assistance has been used to treat a variety of neural disorders, including glioblastoma multiforme, a malignancy that presents a very poor prognosis for patients. We describe a novel system that is used to infuse fluids into the brain parenchyma while simultaneously exposing the tissue to safe levels of 1-MHz, low intensity, ultrasound energy. The system includes a combined infusion needle-hydrophone, a 10-channel ultralow-output impedance amplifier, a broad-band ultrasound resonator, and MatLab®-based TRA control and user-interface. TRA allows easy coupling of ultrasound therapy through the skull without complex phase-correction and array design. The smart targeting UCED system has been tested in vivo and results show it provides 1.5-mm spatial resolution for UCED and improves tracer distribution in the brain over CED alone.