Experimentally validated computational pipeline of ultrasound propagation and neuron-coupling for non-invasive peripheral nervous system stimulation

01 January 2023 → 31 December 2026
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Electrophysiology
    • Neurophysiology
  • Engineering and technology
    • Modelling and simulation
    • Numerical computation
peripheral nervous system CAD software for ultrasonic neuromodulation experimental validation
Project description

Ultrasound has gained attention in the last decade for the application of high-precision non-invasive neuromodulation. In particular, ultrasound can reach deep targets with millimeter precision and without surgery, in contrast to existing electrostimulation technologies. However, limited understanding of the mechanism by which ultrasound interacts with neurons has hampered systematic neural engineering studies, that aim to design ultrasound neuromodulation therapies for the treatment of brain and peripheral nervous system disorders. The goal of this project is to develop an open-source comprehensive pipeline of ultrasonic wave propagation and its coupling with neural tissue for the application of peripheral nervous system stimulation. This pipeline starts from histological data to create detailed representations of the micro- and macro-anatomy, functionalized with neuronal dynamics models based on statistical data of fiber type distributions. Subsequently, ultrasonic transducer models can be placed in the anatomically realistic phantom, allowing the simulation of the acoustic field and the corresponding neuronal response. Finally, measurable results are calculated and displayed to the user, such as electrophysiological or compound action potential traces. The simulation predictions of the pipeline are validated with rat sciatic nerve and dorsal rootlet insonication experiments.