UCLA researchers at the Department of Physics have developed a system that is capable of delivering a therapeutic agent to a specifically targeted tissue using ultrasound.
Soft tissue infections are a major global health issue. About 325,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. When an inadequate concentration of antibiotic is used to treat a given infection, antibiotic resistant strains of bacteria develop that are increasingly difficult to treat. Patients with MRSA cellulitis of the lower extremity, especially those with impaired circulation, such as diabetes, are even more difficult to treat with standard delivery methods of antibiotics such as oral or intravenous administration. At times, oral and intravenous administration of antibiotic cannot deliver adequate concentration of antibiotic to the target tissues. Consequently, over 10% of these cases end up in amputation, and over $25 billion is spent annually on chronic wounds.
Researchers at UCLA developed a system that uses ultrasound to deliver a therapeutic agent in a solution to a target tissue. The user can be input parameters into the system to control the amount of therapeutic and ultrasound energy delivered to the patient. The system also contains a sensor which can be used during treatment to monitor and adjust therapeutic output based on changes in acoustic response.
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