Neuronavigation-guided focused ultrasound-induced blood-brain barrier opening: A preliminary study in swine

Hao Li Liu*, Hong Chieh Tsai, Yu Jen Lu, Kuo Chen Wei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


FUS-induced BBB opening is a promising technique for noninvasive and local delivery of drugs into the brain. Here we propose the novel use of a neuronavigation system to guide the FUS-induced BBB opening procedure, and investigate its feasibility in vivo in large animals. We developed an interface between the neuronavigator and FUS to allow guidance of the focal energy produced by the FUS transducer. The system was tested in 29 pigs by more than 40 sonication procedures and evaluated by MRI. Gd-DTPA concentration was quantitated in vivo by MRI R1 relaxometry and compared by ICP-OES assay. Brain histology after FUS exposure was investigated by HE and TUNEL staining. Neuronavigation could successfully guide the focal beam with comparable precision to neurosurgical stereotactic procedures (2.3 ± 0.9 mm). FUS pressure of 0.43 MPa resulted in consistent BBB-opening. Neuronavigation-guided BBB-opening increased Gd-DTPA deposition by up to 1.83 mM (140% increase). MR relaxometry demonstrated high correlation to ICP-OES measurements (r2 = 0.822), suggesting that Gd-DTPA deposition can be directly measured by imaging. Neuronavigation could provide sufficient precision for guiding FUS to temporally and locally open the BBB. Gd-DTPA deposition in the brain could be quantified by MR relaxometry, providing a potential tool for the in vivo quantification of therapeutic agents in CNS disease treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2012
Event12th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound, ISTU 2012 - Heidelberg, Germany
Duration: 10 06 201213 06 2012

Publication series

NameAIP Conference Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0094-243X
ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


Conference12th International Symposium on Therapeutic Ultrasound, ISTU 2012


  • Focused ultrasound
  • blood-brain-barrier
  • brain drug delivery
  • neuro-navigation guidance


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