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Photo-mediated Ultrasound Therapy to Selectively Treat Blood Vessels

Current research of blood vessels has focused on the development of therapies through invasive procedures or the injection of foreign substances. While some of these treatments have proven effective with significant survival benefits, they are generally expensive, time-consuming, and/or present a risk of toxicity, tissue damage, or other adverse side effects. Thus, there is a need for novel microvascular occlusive methods that can address these limitations.

Initial investigation of this novel technology has been focused on retinal diseases - particularly those associated with diabetes. Diabetic macular edema, the leading cause of decreased vision due to diabetes, is commonly treated with focal laser photocoagulation therapy to cauterize micro-aneurysms from leaky retinal vessels. Recent results suggest that Photo-mediated Ultrasound Therapy (PUT) can be used to obstruct microvessels in the retina, providing an effective alternative treatment for diabetic retinopathy and other eye diseases without the risk of damage to the surrounding tissue. Additional research is expected to demonstrate efficacy in inhibiting tumor growth and treating inflammatory disorders such as arthritis.

The technology uses a combination of laser and ultrasound to treat targeted microvessels. Since blood absorbs more optical energy at the target wavelength than the surrounding tissue, cavitation is limited to only blood vessels and therefore PUT is highly localized. It can be further targeted to selectively treat either veins or arteries.

BENEFITS: 

  • Completely non-invasive, without the need for catheterization or injection.
  • Highly precise, allowing for selective treatment of arteries or veins beyond the skin surface for a depth up to 10 mm.
  • Significant reduction in pain and tissue damage compared with conventional laser therapy, as both the ultrasound and laser pulses are low-power and neither alone can produce damage.
  • Avoids the adverse side effects of existing treatments.
  • Promotes mechanical cavitation through non-invasive means e.g. using short laser pulses and ultrasound bursts to maximize vessel occlusion.

    ADDITIONAL APPLICATIONS: 

  • Cosmetic treatments such as tattoo removal (including color selectivity)
  • Conditions relating to over-vascularization:
    •  e.g., varicose veins, spider veins, port wine stain

 

Additional Details

Owner

University of Kansas

Intellectual Property Protection

Pending Patent



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