Ultrasound remotely triggers immune cells to attack tumors in mice without toxic side effects

A new cancer immunotherapy pairs ultrasound with specially engineered CAR T cells to destroy malignant tumors while sparing normal tissue. The new experimental therapy significantly slowed down the growth of solid cancerous tumors in mice.

Tiny, Wireless, Injectable Chips Use Ultrasound to Monitor Body Processes

Researchers at Columbia Engineering report that they have built what they say is the world’s smallest single-chip system, consuming a total volume of less than 0.1 mm3. The system is as small as a dust mite and visible only under a microscope. In order to achieve this, the team used ultrasound to both power and communicate with the device wirelessly

Breaching the Blood-Brain Barrier to Deliver Precious Payloads

RNA-based drugs may change the standard of care for many diseases, making personalized medicine a reality. So far these cost-effective, easy-to-manufacture drugs haven’t been very useful in treating brain tumors and other brain disease. But a team of researchers at Georgia Tech and Emory University has shown that a combination of ultrasound and RNA-loaded nanoparticles can temporarily open the protective blood-brain barrier, allowing the delivery of potent medicine to brain tumors.

‘Leap forward’ in risk management of rectal cancer

Rectal cancer, along with colon cancer, is the third-most common type of cancer in the United States, and treatment and surgery greatly affect the quality of life of patients. A multi-disciplinary team at Washington University in St. Louis has developed and tested an innovative imaging technique that is able to differentiate between rectal tissues with residual cancers and those without tumors after chemotherapy and radiation, which could one day help to avoid unnecessary surgeries in some patients who have achieved complete tumor destruction after chemoradiation.

Singing a Tumor Test Song

Singing may be the next-generation, noninvasive approach to determining the health of a patient’s thyroid. When a person sings, the vibrations create waves in the tissue near the vocal tract called shear waves. If a tumor is present in the thyroid, the elasticity of its surrounding tissue increases, stiffening, and causing the shear waves to accelerate. Using ultrasound imaging to measure these waves, researchers can determine the elasticity of the thyroid tissue. They demonstrate the technique in Applied Physics Letters.

Lung Ultrasounds Could Help Determine COVID-19 Outcome

Researchers have developed a method using ultrasound imaging to score a patient’s lung health, which may help predict if a patient with COVID-19 will worsen. Using 14 points in the lungs, they looked for abnormalities and assigned each spot a score out of 3 based on its severity. Adding up all the points, the researchers found the total lung ultrasound score was higher for those who had a worsening outcome of COVID-19. Umberto Sabatini’s presentation will be a part of the 179th ASA Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.

Tiny Nanospindles Enhance Use of Ultrasound to Fight Cancer

Ultrasound can be used to treat cancer when used in combination with molecules that sensitize the system to sound waves. These sonosensitizers generate toxic reactive oxygen species that attack and kill tumor cells. In Applied Physics Review, scientists report a new type of sonosensitizer based on a vanadium-doped titanium dioxide that enhances the amount of damage ultrasound inflicts on tumors. Studies in mice showed that tumor growth was markedly suppressed when compared to a control group.

Acoustics Virtually Everywhere: Schedule for ASA Meeting Press Conferences Dec. 9-11

Press conferences at the 179th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of American will cover the latest in acoustical research, from the impact of face masks to the beating of mosquito wings, and will be held virtually Dec. 9-11. To ensure the safety of attendees, volunteers, and ASA staff, Acoustics Virtually Everywhere will be hosted entirely online.

Ultrasound Technique Offers More Precise, Quantified Assessments of Lung Health

Researchers have developed a technique that uses ultrasound to provide non-invasive assessments of pulmonary fibrosis and pulmonary edema. The technique has been shown to both quantify lung scarring and detect lung fluid in rats. A study on pulmonary edema in humans is under way.

$13.48M Awarded To Johns Hopkins Scientists To Develop Implantable Ultrasound Devices For Patients With Spinal Cord Injury

A team of Johns Hopkins neurosurgeons and biomedical engineers has received $13.48 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop implantable ultrasound and other devices that could revolutionize care for people suffering from spinal cord injuries. The results could benefit thousands of U.S. service members and civilians who sustain spinal cord injuries every year.

A sound treatment

University of Utah biomedical engineering assistant professor Jan Kubanek has discovered that sound waves of high frequency (ultrasound) can be emitted into a patient’s brain to alter his or her state. It’s a non-invasive treatment that doesn’t involve medications or surgery and has a unique potential to treat mental disorders including depression and anxiety and neurological disorders such as chronic pain and epilepsy.

Video — More Than Baby Debuts: Ultrasound Is Used To Deliver Drugs, Treat Tremors

Ultrasound is probably most associated with a parent’s first glimpse of a baby in the womb. However, a new video from the Acoustical Society of America showcases the technology’s abilities to do more than show images of our insides. This video is the second in a series celebrating the International Year of Sound.

Ultrasound-Assisted Molecule Delivery Looks to Preserve Blood for Years

Blood can typically be stored for only six weeks after donation, but a potential solution attempts to dry blood by using a sugar-based preservative. New work in ultrasound technology looks to provide a path to inserting these sugars into human red blood cells, allowing the molecule trehalose to enter the cells and prevent their degradation when dried for preservation. The researchers discuss their work in this week’s Biomicrofluidics.

Ultrasound Solves an Important Clinical Problem in Diagnosing Arrhythmia

Columbia Engineering researchers have used an ultrasound technique they pioneered a decade ago–electromechanical wave imaging (EWI)–to accurately localize atrial and ventricular cardiac arrhythmias in adult patients in a double-blinded clinical study. They evaluated the accuracy of EWI for localization of various arrhythmias in all four chambers of the heart prior to catheter ablation: the results showed that EWI correctly predicted 96% of arrhythmia locations as compared with 71% for 12-lead ECGs.

Addition of MRI-Targeted Biopsy Leads to More Reliable Diagnosis of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

Using a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to target and sample suspicious prostate tissue, along with a standard prostate biopsy, is significantly more likely to detect the most aggressive prostate cancers than standard biopsy alone. This finding, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, could allow a higher percentage of prostate cancer patients to avoid unnecessary treatment for slow-growing prostate cancers that are not likely to spread.

Robot Uses Artificial Intelligence and Imaging to Draw Blood

Rutgers engineers have created a tabletop device that combines a robot, artificial intelligence and near-infrared and ultrasound imaging to draw blood or insert catheters to deliver fluids and drugs. Their research results, published in the journal Nature Machine Intelligence, suggest that autonomous systems like the image-guided robotic device could outperform people on some complex medical tasks.

‘Brain Surfing’: Ultrasound waves focused on prefrontal cortex elevate mood and change brain connectivity in human volunteers

A team of researchers at the University of Arizona has found that low-intensity ultrasound waves directed at a particular region of the brain’s prefrontal cortex in healthy subjects can elevate mood, and decrease connectivity in a brain network that has been shown to be hyperactive in psychiatric disorders. The method uses transcranial focused ultrasound (‘tFUS’), a painless, non-invasive technique to modulate brain function comparable to transcranial magnetic stimulation (‘TMS’), and transcranial direct current stimulation (‘tDCS’). This study shows, for the first time, a correlation between tFUS-induced mood enhancement, and reorganization of brain circuits.

Guidelines for Thyroid Surgery Published in Annals of Surgery

The first set of comprehensive, evidence-based clinical guidelines for surgical treatment of thyroid disease – developed by an expert panel assembled by the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES) – was published today by Annals of Surgery. The journal is published in the Lippincott portfolio by Wolters Kluwer.

New Robot Does Superior Job Sampling Blood

In the future, robots could take blood samples, benefiting patients and healthcare workers alike. A Rutgers-led team has created a blood-sampling robot that performed as well or better than people, according to the first human clinical trial of an automated blood drawing and testing device.

Ultrasound Selectively Damages Cancer Cells When Tuned to Correct Frequencies

Doctors have used focused ultrasound to destroy tumors without invasive surgery for some time. However, the therapeutic ultrasound used in clinics today indiscriminately damages cancer and healthy cells alike. Researchers have now developed a low-intensity ultrasound approach that exploits the properties of tumor cells to target them and provide a safer option. Their findings, reported in Applied Physics Letters, are a new step in oncotripsy, the singling out and killing of cancer cells based on their physical properties.

Ultrasound Techniques Give Warning Signs of Preterm Births

Ultrasound can be used to examine cervix tissue and improve diagnostics, which is essential for predicting preterm births, and ultrasound data is used to compare two techniques for evaluating changes in cervical tissue throughout pregnancy. Researchers are looking at ultrasonic attenuation coefficients that can help scientists characterize cervical changes throughout pregnancy and in preparation for birth before other symptoms, such as contractions or dilation, occur. They will discuss their work at the 178th ASA Meeting.