Cerebrospinal fluid detection showing inserted sensor strip and four-digit readout. (Credit: Minghan Xian, et al.)

Researchers have developed a low-cost, easy-to-use, and highly precise focused ultrasound (FUS) device that can be used on small animal models in preclinical research.

The FUS transducer, created in-house using a 3D printer, costs about $80 to fabricate. It can be integrated with a commercially available stereotactic frame to precisely target a mouse brain.

The device had several benefits, Chen said, including achieving sub-millimeter targeting accuracy and having a tunable drug-delivery outcome. In addition, using higher frequency FUS transducers decreased the BBB opening volume and improved the precision of FUS-BBB opening in targeting individual structures in the mouse brain.

To create the transducer, the team only needed to connect wires to the electrodes on the elements. The rest of the parts were made on a 3D printer. With the use of a stereotactic frame, her team was able to target the exact location they wanted in the brain, which eliminated one of the barriers to more widespread use of the FUS technique. The team has made the design available on Github.

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