Non-invasive Image-guided Ultrasound Surgery using Histotripsy: Basic Mechanisms and Applications in Cancer Ablation

Thursday, February 9, 2017

11:00am - 12:00pm

Dr. Eli Vlaisavljevich
Biomedical Engineering
Research Fellow, University of Michigan


Histotripsy is a non-invasive ultrasonic ablation method that uses high pressure (>10 MPa), short duration (<20μs) ultrasound
pulses at low duty cycles (<1 %) to controllably fractionate soft tissue. Histotripsy depends on the initiation and maintenance of a
cavitation “bubble cloud” to produce mechanical tissue fractionation at a fluid-tissue interface (i.e. tissue erosion) or inside
a bulk tissue (i.e. tissue fractionation). Guided by real-time imaging, histotripsy can precisely fractionate soft tissues into an acellular liquid homogenate, with sharp boundaries between treated and untreated tissue. Histotripsy is currently being developed for clinical applications where non-invasive tissue removal is desired including benign prostatic hyperplasia, deep vein thrombosis, congenital heart disease, intracerebral hemorrhage, and cancer. In this lecture, I will discuss the basic mechanisms underlying the histotripsy process as well as the development of this technology for the treatment of liver cancer.


Dr. Vlaisavljevich received his B.S. from Michigan Technological University in Biomedical Engineering, with M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Michigan. His research interests include therapeutic ultrasound, non-invasive tissue ablation (histotripsy), cavitation physics, nanomedicine, ultrasonic neuromodulation, tissue regeneration, cancer, and clinical translation. He currently holds a dual appointment, including 20% as a research fellow at the University of Michigan and an 80% appointment at HistoSonics, a UM inspired startup company developing histotripsy for multiple clinical applications. At HistoSonics, Dr. Vlaisavljevich leads a team working on the clinical translation of histotripsy for treating liver cancer, with a first human trial planned in 2017. He is also the head of preclinical research aimed at de-risking histotripsy for multiple indications including oncological, cardiovascular, and neurological applications.