The Department of Radiology at University Hospitals and Case Western Reserve University has a strong culture of innovation in ultrasound technologies spanning the entire research continuum developing new ultrasound imaging methods and contrast agents to clinical investigations of innovative ultrasound imaging approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of disease. Preclinical and translational research projects include the development of targeted nanoscale ultrasound contrast agents (aka nanobubbles) for molecular imaging of chancers ranging from prostate to ovarian and breast tumors. We collaborate with the Department of Urology to develop these targeted agents as beacons for prostate biopsy guidance with transrectal ultrasound (TRUS). We are also examining therapeutic applications of ultrasound currently in the preclinical stages. Here we are utilizing nanobubbles and microbubbles for focused therapy of aggressive prostate cancer, investigating a combination approach of radiation therapy and nanobubble-based radiosensitization of tumors, and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease with drug-loaded nanobubbles and focused ultrasound delivery to the brain. Finally, we are developing gas-core nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles for ultrasound-mediated gene and drug delivery. Our work has collaborative partnerships with Siemens Healthineers, Hologic and Sonablate Medical.
We are partnering with multiple vendors for ultrasound clinical research and product development including software evaluation, new applications of ultrasound contrast agents in diagnostic and interventional radiology, evolving applications of ultrasound fusion software in interventional radiology, and a new software used to evaluate a real-time map of tissue destruction during microwave ablation. In addition, we incorporated a breast ultrasound with shear wave elastography into our routine clinical practice and continue an ongoing research collaboration with Hologic.