Bio Seminars

View Full Calendar

Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation: from Brain to Behaviors

Event Type
Bioengineering Department
wifi event
May 16, 2024   10:00 - 10:50 am  
Originating Calendar
Bioengineering calendar

Kai Yu

Carnegie Mellon University

Research Scientist, Biomedical Engineering

Title: Transcranial Focused Ultrasound Neuromodulation: from Brain to Behaviors

BioKai Yu received his B.S. and M.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Zhejiang University in 2009 and 2012 respectively. He received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities in 2018. He completed post-doctoral training in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University in one year, and has been a Research Scientist and special faculty there since 2019. Dr. Yu has made original research contributions to the field of transcranial focused ultrasound neuromodulation, functional biomedical imaging, and neuroengineering. He is a pioneer in developing the non-invasive EEG source imaging for localizing the ultrasound induced neural activations in the in vivo brain models. His research works on the EEG source imaging informed transcranial ultrasound neuromodulation on an animal model and later in humans were selected as a cover article and a featured article by the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, respectively. His work on the intrinsic functional cell-type specificity of transcranial focused ultrasound neuromodulation was also featured and highlighted by Nature Communications on “From brain to behaviour”. He has been a co-investigator in three major NIH BRAIN Initiative and HEAL Initiative grants in studying the in vivo neuronal and inter-neuronal responses to ultrasound stimulation in the brain, developing electrophysiology-compatible ultrasound neuromodulation array probes, and translating focused ultrasound neuromodulation for treating pain in sickle cell disease. He has been a guest associate editor for three research journals. He has also been serving as a member of Graduate Affaires Committee in CMU BME and was an Organizing Committee member of 2023 Carnegie Mellon Forum on Biomedical Engineering.

 He was a Gold Medalist of the 40th International Exhibition of Inventions, Geneva, Switzerland. He received IEEE Brain Initiative Neurotech Entrepreneurs’ Award, and was also the recipient of the Best Innovation Award and the champion of the 2nd NXP Cup Innovation Design Competition.

Abstract: Low-intensity transcranial focused ultrasound (tFUS) is an emerging technology that enables noninvasive modulation of neuronal activity with unprecedented precision through focused ultrasound waves. Despite its promising applications, our comprehension of the in-vivo neural mechanisms underlying this novel neuromodulation technology remains in its early stages. Our research endeavors in the lab aim to bridge this knowledge gap, extending from rodent to nonhuman primate models and humans. In my presentation, I will introduce some pivotal contributions made by our lab towards understanding the changes of in-vivo neuronal responses, inter-neuronal correlations, and brain network modulations elicited by tFUS stimulation. I will showcase our intracranial electrophysiological recordings from rodent and monkey models, revealing nuanced brain responses to specific stimulation parameters. Furthermore, we have translated tFUS devices and methodologies for the noninvasive modulation of human motor, somatosensory, and visual systems, measured through electroencephalography (EEG)-based source imaging with improved spatial specificity. Beyond influencing specific brain functions, I will also present our ongoing investigations into tFUS applications for modulating pain-related behaviors in a humanized sickle cell mouse model and the potential effects of tFUS on improving visual-motion responses within a brain-computer interface setting among a group of healthy human participants. These studies not only underscore the versatility of tFUS in neuromodulation but also highlight its therapeutic potential across domains of neurological function and behavior.

link for robots only