Computational Life Sciences



Application of FUS to tumorous tissue in the neck area

Application of FUS to tumorous tissue in the neck area.




Acoustic Sovers - HIFU/PressureWaves


Focused Ultrasound (FUS) and MR-guided High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (MRgHIFU) Technology are increasingly being applied in both diagnostic and therapeutic clinical applications to non-invasively heat and destroy diseased tissue. A software tool that simulates complex medical scenarios involving ultrasonic waves can offer better treatment analyses and outcomes and enhance the understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Relevant scenarios include safety and efficacy assessments, the design and optimization of ultrasonic devices (transducers used for therapeutic or diagnostic purposes), and patient-­specific treatment planning for acoustic surgery (used in tumor ablation, prostate treatment, thrombolysis, etc.) and drug delivery (through reversible Blood-­Brain Barrier (BBB) disruption or gene therapy).

IT’IS has already developed a software framework for performing numerical studies on the interactions between ultrasonic waves and biological tissue, with future efforts focusing on validating and extending its capabilities. 

Selected Past Achievements

  • Development of explicit linear and nonlinear acoustic solvers for 3D simulations of ultrasonic full wave propagation in inhomogeneous anatomical models. The solvers include: a) sophisticated absorbing boundary conditions (inhomogeneous CPML); b) parallelization for multi-core CPU and GPU systems; c) coupling with fluid dynamic solvers for modeling of acoustic streaming, and d) thermal solvers for ultrasound induced temperature increases and lesion formation.
  • Development of advanced acoustic solvers to assess and explain the effect of bone structures (e.g., ribcage, spine, and skull) and air-filled cavities (e.g., trachea, esophagus, and nasal cavity) on the acoustic focus (shape distortion and shift).
  • Investigation of various ultrasonic problems and treatment modalities, such as minimally invasive FUS ablation of hepatic and renal tumors, microthalamotomy for neuropathic pain treatment, sonication of the brain for targeted drug delivery through reversible BBB disruption, and the design and optimization of a novel transducer for superficial tumor ablation.

Next Challenges

  • To experimentally validate the acoustic solvers by comparing measured 3D pressure fields of a focused US transducer distorted by predefined obstacles with simulated results
  • To implement coupling with a dedicated micro-bubble solver to investigate cavitation effects.