An Inclusive Multi-compartment Model for Ultrasound-evoked Neuronal Excitability (IMMUNE)

01 January 2021 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Neurophysiology
  • Engineering and technology
    • Modelling not elsewhere classified
    • Numerical computation
neurmodulation ultrasound Computational modelling
Project description

Non-invasive brain stimulation with ultrasound waves applied to the skull is a mostly overlooked method to modulate neural circuits of the central nervous system. Ultrasound neurostimulation is attractive because its spatial resolution is about five times better than that of non-invasive electromagnetic neurostimulation methods. In-vitro and in-vivo experiments of ultrasound neurostimulation have been performed for nearly a century and clearly show its capability to initiate or inhibit neuronal activity. Despite the experimental evidence, the biophysical mechanisms underlying ultrasound stimulation are not well-understood. Mathematical models for possible biophysical mechanisms exist, for example for the capacitive currents created by acoustic radiation force and cavitation. Other mechanisms such as changes in the conductance of stretch-sensitive ion channels have not been modeled yet. Most likely, a combination of mechanisms is responsible for the changes in neuronal excitability. Therefore, the goal here is to create an inclusive computational model for ultrasound neurostimulation that combines the most often cited biophysical mechanisms. We will validate of our inclusive model with the large amount of experimental ultrasound studies in literature. The aim is to create a comprehensive model that can predict neuronal excitability for the large range of insonication parameters in literature (ultrasound frequency and intensity, pulse duration and duty cycle, etc.).