Cavitation therapy based on high-amplitude focused ultrasound (e.g., Histotripsy) has shown great promise in clinical trials. The technique realizes localized treatments of tissues and diseased cells by controlling cavitation zones, which can be even smaller than its acoustic spot sizes. Also, the short pressure pulse used in the technique can minimize the unwanted heat accumulation, which the conventional piezoelectric transducers suffer from due to low operating frequencies and relatively long acoustic pulses. However, this modality requires bulky system composed of array of piezoelectric elements and electric amplifiers in order to obtain high pressure amplitude. Moreover, especially when treating an area much smaller than the acoustic spot size, this approach may be vulnerable to nucleation sites within the focal volume, which can potentially induce cavitation and thus enlarge the total treatment area.
Here, we show targeted cell-level therapy by using laser generated ultrasound. By employing a concave lens coated by a carbon nanotube (CNT)-polymer composite, high-amplitude acoustic pressure can be obtained at a tight focal spot (<100 um). The small focal spot, comparable to cavitation zone, lead to controlled cavitation treatment. Such feature can be exploited for treating intraocular tumors but without harming other parts of the eye (e.g. healthy retina and choroid) and therefore preserve the vision of the patients. We demonstrate that the localized disruption effects can be used for cell-level surgery to remove cells and to kill cells. Some experimental examples are shown using animal eyeballs.
Taehwa Lee, Wei Luo, Hakan Demirci, and L. Jay Guo, "Targeted therapy of animal eyes with tumors by laser-generated focused ultrasound
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9708, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2016, 97080P (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 15, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2212738.4828179385001.
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