Ultrasound-based therapy

Jean-François Aubry


  • brain therapy using focused ultrasound
  • ultrasound neuromodulation
  • non-invasive cardiac therapy
  • ultrasound-mediated drug delivery
  • in situ chemistry

Brain therapy using focused ultrasound

We are developing ultrasound systems for the treatment of neurological disorders (Parkinson’s disease, essential tremors, severe depression, etc) in collaboration with the Institut du Cerveau et de la Moelle Epinière. The systems operate under MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) guidance to focus ultrasound and either modulate the neuronal activity (low-intensity focused ultrasound) of perform thermal ablations (high-intensity focused ultrasound) in specific regions of the brain. To ensure an accurate targeting, we are implementing optimized aberration correction approaches.


Main publications
  1. Aubry J-F, Tanter M. MR-guided transcranial focused ultrasound. Adv Exp Med Biol (2016)
  2. Deffieux et al. Low-intensity focused ultrasound modulates monkey visuomotor behavior. Curr Biol (2013)

Non-invasive cardiac therapy

We propose several ultrasound-based techniques as non- or minimally-invasive alternatives to surgical interventions in cardiology. For instance, high-intensity focused ultrasound waves can fractionate tissue (mechanical approach called histotripsy) in order to remotely treat aortic stenosis or vein thrombosis. Ultrasound waves can also induce necrosis of myocardium areas for the treatment of atrial fibrillation.


Main publications
  1. Goudot G et al. Pulsed cavitational therapy using high-frequency ultrasound for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis in an in vitro model of human blood clot. Phys Med Biol (2017)
  2. Kwiecinski W et al. Validation of an intracardiac ultrasonic therapy-imaging dual mode transducer. IRBM (2015)

Ultrasound-mediated drug delivery

Intravenous medications, particularly anti-cancer drugs, expose healthy organs to toxic side effects. Confining their action to the desired region of the body is possible by encapsulating them in microbubbles which can be remotely controlled using ultrasound beams. Delivering selectively the drug to the targeted region preserves healthy organs while reducing the applied doses. Besides, we are also optimizing techniques to locally and reversibly permeabilize the blood-brain-barrier to enable drug delivery to the brain.


Main publications
  1. Couture O et al. Review of ultrasound mediated drug delivery for cancer treatment: Updates from pre-clinical studies. Transl Cancer Res (2014)
  2. Bezagu M et al. In situ targeted activation of an anticancer agent using ultrasound-triggered release of composite droplets. Eur J Med Chem (2017)