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Therapeutic Ultrasound: Applications and Examples

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

4:00 PM-5:30 PM

BIOMED Seminar

Therapeutic Ultrasound: Applications and Examples

Christopher R. Bawiec, PhD
Senior Fellow and Postdoctoral Researcher
School of Medicine
Division of Gastroenterology
Applied Physics Lab
Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound
University of Washington

Ultrasound as a therapeutic modality has been around for over 75 years, yet with many recent advances in diagnostic imaging and ultrasound probe design, there are seemingly endless applications for this technology. One such example are the High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) systems being used for treating localized prostate cancer. Two such systems have recently (2015) gained FDA approval and they have also been in use in Europe for over 10 years. These prostate HIFU treatments target the entire gland despite the localization of the tumors. With recent advances in tumor imaging and treatment guidance (MRI/US fusion), a shift to focal therapy has become the goal, where only a portion of the prostate probe is treated (ideally all of the tumor tissue and none of the healthy tissue). In order to accomplish these highly focalized treatments, a device providing high quality visualization of the treatment area while allowing for accurate generation of thermal lesions, is necessary.

To date, piezoelectric technology is the gold standard for the development of HIFU devices, but can require compromises between the quality of the ultrasound image and the therapeutic capabilities of the probe. Recently, Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasound Transducer (CMUT) technology has been investigated that has the potential to improve both imaging and therapeutic functions of HIFU probes. These novel ultrasound probes are currently under development in the context of treating localized prostate cancer with the potential for many other therapeutic applications.

This talk will focus on the development of a CMUT probe for the treatment of prostate cancer. Additionally, other therapeutic ultrasound probes will be presented along with a discussion on overcoming some of the challenges associated with all focused ultrasound therapies, including aberration correction schemes determination of appropriate ultrasound dose.

Christopher Bawiec, PhD, is a Senior Fellow in the School of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and the Applied Physics Lab, Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound, at the University of Washington. Following completion of his PhD in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University, Dr. Bawiec won a Whitaker Fellowship award that brought him to work at the Inserm Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound. There he worked with capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducers (CMUTs) for image-guided high intensity ultrasound (HIFU) therapies in the brain and prostate.

Dr. Bawiec is currently working at the University of Washington, where he researches therapeutic and diagnostic ultrasound, specifically as it relates to histotripsy (mechanical, non-thermal ablation of tissue).

Contact Information

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Papadakis Integrated Sciences Building (PISB), Room 120, located on the northeast corner of 33rd and Chestnut Streets.


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