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Ultrasound Drug Delivery Enhancement and Imaging Systems and Methods

A method and system for both enhancing drug uptake by application of therapeutic transmissions of acoustic energy and imaging a region for applied therapy with a same transducer and ultrasound system. An ultrasonic image of a field of view is generated while localized delivery of a drug is enhanced with ultrasound energy. Using the same transducer and ultrasound system reduces costs and increases system availability for a broader range of medical practitioners. For example, a single linear array of transducer elements is used for application of both imaging and therapeutic ultrasound. As another example, a transmitter is provided that transmits therapeutic transmissions having substantially equal positive and negative peaks at the face of the transducer and also is operable to transmit imaging acoustic energy. As yet another example, therapeutic pulses of acoustic energy are transmitted to have greater power for heating than imaging, but a mechanical index or pressure comparable to imaging transmissions. For example, a mechanical index of about 1.9 or lower is provided, such that cavitation of blood or other non-contrast agent is avoided.

Intellectual Property
US Patent No.: 6, 716,168

Kathryn Nightingale, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Duke University

Duke File (IDF) Number



  • Nightingale, Kathryn
  • Chilkoti, Ashutosh
  • Nock, Levin
  • Trahey, Gregg

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Pratt School of Engineering