Breaking the Ultrasound Barrier to Fight Disease

Spring 2019

“Because focused ultrasound has such a powerful combination of features — it’s an entirely unique and minimally invasive tool that can trigger a variety of responses in the body — it has tremendous potential for treating a host of medical problems,” says Richard Price, PhD, who is research director at the University of Virginia Focused Ultrasound Center. “There are probably many applications for focused ultrasound that we haven’t even begun to contemplate yet.”

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Riding a Wave of Sound

Spring 2019

One way to get drugs through the blood-brain barrier: smuggle them across using sound waves.

Focused ultrasound opens the blood-brain barrier

Fall 2018

An early-stage, non-invasive therapy, focused ultrasound works by focusing multiple beams of ultrasound onto targets deep within the body with a high degree of accuracy. In doing so, the focused sonic energy can destroy targeted cells while sparing adjacent normal tissue. But that’s not all it can do – as well as ablating tumours or other disease targets, focused ultrasound can be used to stimulate an immune response, open the blood–brain barrier (BBB) and much more.

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Tackling Cancer Through Team Science

Fall 2017

For patients suffering from metastatic breast cancer, where the disease has spread throughout the body, the survival rate is only 22%. These women and men face ongoing treatment for the rest of their lives, often with harsh side effects. Although treatable, there is no cure for metastatic disease.

The University of Virginia Health System is working to change that, and has launched a clinical trial that uses groundbreaking focused ultrasound technology to target metastatic breast cancer and make tumors responsive to immunotherapy—without surgery.

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Investigator Profile: Richard Price, PhD

October 17, 2017.

Can focused ultrasound be used as a tool to allow therapeutic agents to reach deadly brain tumors? Is it possible to stop the progression and spread of breast cancer? If Parkinson’s disease is diagnosed early, could its effect on the brain be reversed? These questions and more are being tackled by scientists in the Price Laboratory at the University of Virginia’s Biomedical Engineering Department.

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Price Earns Inaugural Prize for Cancer Treatment Using Focused Ultrasound

October 11, 2017

The Focused Ultrasound Foundation announced that Richard Price, professor of biomedical engineering, radiology and radiation oncology, has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the $75,000 Andrew J. Lockhart Memorial Prize.

Terry and Eugene Lockhart, the parents of the award’s namesake, presented the prize on Oct. 2.

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Bioinsights Story on Our Nano Letters Parkinson’s Gene Therapy Paper

Spring 2017

Researchers at the University of Virginia have developed a novel, non-invasive approach to deliver therapeutic gene and restore dopaminergic neuron function in a rat model of Parkinson’s disease (PD). The approach used a combination of magnetic resonance (MR) image-guided focused ultrasound (FUS) and brain-penetrating nanoparticles (BPN).

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Brain-penetrating nanoparticles restore neuron function

May 25, 2017

Researchers at the University of Virginia and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore have developed a new, non-invasive and non-toxic genetic therapeutic technique to restore dopaminergic neuron function in rats suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

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Focused Ultrasound Foundation teams up on melanoma brain metastases research

20 August 2015

The Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA) and Cancer Research Institute (CRI) are collaborating with the Foundation to fund a new preclinical research project using focused ultrasound to enhance immunotherapy for melanoma brain metastases.

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U.Va. And Hopkins Collaborate To Use Fus To Deliver Nanoparticles Into The Brain

June 25, 2015.

Biomedical engineers at the University of Virginia (UVA) and John Hopkins University (JHU) have developed a prolific collaboration that has generated several long-term, multi-million-dollar focused ultrasound research grants.

Richard Price, PhD, Research Director of the UVA Focused Ultrasound Center and Justin Hanes, PhD, Director of the Center for Nanomedicine at the Wilmer Eye Institute and JHU School of Medicine, are developing nanoparticles that can be delivered deep into the brain with the assistance of focused ultrasound. Their work has earned them nearly $7 million of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding from 2011 to 2020 to propel their discoveries to the clinic.

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