Ultrasound Technology for Minimally Invasive Surgery – A New Paper

For Immediate Release

Baltimore MD | July 3, 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.

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 CEO of MDC.

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 Foundation.

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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