Ultrasound Technology for Minimally Invasive Surgery  – An update

Ultrasound Technology for Minimally Invasive Surgery – An update

For Immediate Release

Baltimore MD | July 3, 2020 | Updated November 27, 2020

The Maryland Development Center is pleased to announce publication of the paper “Minimally invasive therapeutic ultrasound: Ultrasound-guided ultrasound ablation in neuro-oncology” (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ultras.2020.106210) in the journal UltrasonicsThe project was led by Dr. Amir Manbachi, and included Dr. Stephen M. Restaino and Dr. Nao J. Gamo. Dr. Manbachi is an Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and  Biomedical Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University, and collaborates with MDC affiliates. Dr. Restaino is the Vice-President and Director of Engineering at MDC, while Dr. Gamo is a Co-founder and CEO of MDC Client Company, NeuroSonics Medical.

UPDATE: The paper, which was published in the journal Ultrasonics, was selected as the Editor’s Choice Award Winner in November 2020.

The research harnesses focused ultrasound (FUS) to perform
minimally invasive neurosurgery and contribute to improved patient outcomes
(e.g., reducing blood loss and infection). FUS facilitates thermal tissue
ablation from a distance, thereby reducing injury to surrounding tissue. While FUS
ablation can often be performed non-invasively, it is more difficult to carry
out for neuro-oncological tumors, since ultrasound is dramatically attenuated
while propagating through the skull. This shortcoming has prompted the exploration
of minimally invasive options for intracranial placement of FUS probes, such as
within the BrainPath™ device from NICO Corporation (Indianapolis, IN). This new
paper presents the design, development, and in vitro testing of an
image-guided, minimally invasive FUS prototype designed to ablate
neuro-oncological lesions despite its small size.

The paper is the result of research headed by Dr. Manbachi, in
collaboration with engineers at MDC and Sonic Concepts (Bothell, WA). The
technology is aimed to be further developed and commercialized by NeuroSonics
Medical, led by Dr. Gamo. This study was funded by the TEDCO Maryland
Innovation Initiative, Johns Hopkins Coulter Foundation Funding, National
Science Foundation’s I-Corps, and Johns Hopkins University’s Cohen
Translational Engineering Fund.

“The focused ultrasound probe developed by Dr. Manbachi, Dr.
Gamo, and their collaborators represents an important contribution to minimally
invasive techniques for brain surgery. We are looking forward to helping bring
the new technology into the market,” said Dr. Gil Blankenship, Co-founder and

About NeuroSonics Medical

NeuroSonics Medical is a client company of the Maryland
Development Center, co-founded by Nao J. Gamo, PhD to develop and commercialize
ultrasound technologies for minimally invasive neurosurgery. NeuroSonics is
funded in part by the STTR and I-Corps grants from the National Science

About Maryland Development Center

The Maryland Development Center is a startup studio created
to commercialize intellectual property developed in Maryland’s rich research
enterprises. Since its founding, MDC has explored dozens of technologies,
created seven companies, and filed numerous patents. Maryland has the largest
federal research budget in the United States; MDC was created to help realize
some of the commercial value of the extraordinary research programs at the
State’s great universities and laboratories. 

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