Dr Jan Kubanek

Dr Jan Kubanek

Ultrasonic waves enable entirely noninvasive modulation of deep brain neural circuits. The interventions include direct modulation of neural activity by the mechanical aspect of ultrasound waves, and remote release of neuromodulatory drugs from nanoparticle carriers activated by ultrasound. Both approaches use ultrasound intensities below the FDA limits and are considered safe. Recent studies showed that these approaches induce lasting neuroplastic effects, specifically in the target circuits, and therefore have unique potential in treating malfunctioning deep brain circuits in mental and neurological disorders.

To maximize the neuromodulatory effects and validate safety, we developed a system that electronically delivers ultrasound on demand into specific deep brain regions of non-human primates, while the primates perform specific tasks. The system enables modulation of multiple regions simultaneously or in concert, and evaluate corresponding effects on behavior.

The system is used to test the magnitude and duration of the neuroplastic effects induced by these two neuromodulation approaches. Their non-invasiveness is expected to lead to rapid translation into patients with mental and neurological disorders.

Dr Jan Kubanek joins us as a speaker at the Brainbox Initiative Conference 2020, with a talk entitled Deep brain ultrasonic modulation in behaving primates.