Remote Control of Intact Mammalian Brain Circuits Using Pulsed Ultrasound

Project: Research project


We recently reported novel methods for the noninvasive excitation of neuronal circuits using low-intensity, low-frequency ultrasound (LILFU). Our in vitro data illustrate that LILFU is capable of exciting central neurons by activating voltage-gated sodium channels and voltagegated calcium channels in a manner sufficient to elicit action potentials and trigger neurotransmitter release. These observations raise numerous tantalizing possibilities for the use of pulsed ultrasound (US) in controlling neuronal activity. Several fundamental issues still need to be resolved however. Perhaps the most prevailing problem is to determine the actual feasibility of using LILFU to manipulate brain circuit activity in intact animals. Thus, the primary objective of this proposal is to develop and characterize noninvasive methods for controlling the activity of intact brain circuits using LILFU. We will use a multi-disciplinary approach to examine the influence of pulsed ultrasound on neuronal excitability by modeling ultrasound transmission and absorption, studying the in vitro effects using methods we recently published, as well as characterizing ultrasounds influence on intact brain circuits. By integrating data obtained across our varied experimental approaches, we will be able to make rapid progress in developing and characterizing noninvasive methods for controlling the activity of intact brain circuits using pulsed ultrasound.
Effective start/end date9/1/098/31/12


  • DOD-ARMY-ARL: Army Research Office (ARO): $454,509.00


Voltage-Gated Sodium Channels
Calcium Channels
Action Potentials
Neurotransmitter Agents
Ultrasonic Waves
In Vitro Techniques