Focused Ultrasound Surgery for Nerve Ablation

Lead Research Organisation: University of Glasgow
Department Name: School of Engineering


This research project is aligned to the EPSRC Programme Grant, Surgery enabled by ultrasonics. The project investigates the possibility of miniaturised focussed ultrasound surgery (FUS) integrated with surgical robotics. One option for reducing pain is to destroy nerve tissue so that pain signals are blocked and hence the pain felt by the patient is reduced in the target area. There are several modalities used, including heat, cold, electric current and chemical ablation. Currently there is a body of research investigating the use of FUS in nerve ablation as a non-invasive surgical treatment for chronic low back pain. Non-invasive FUS offers the potential benefits of no wound or associated scar tissue, no risk of infection and faster healing. However, this procedure relies on the nerves being easily targeted by focussed ultrasound waves with no tissue structures interfering with the waves. In this project, research will investigate miniature FUS devices that could reach nerves obscured from non-invasive FUS through minimal access surgical procedures. In particular, the research will investigate the integration of FUS with a tentacle surgical robot that can access nerves in difficult to access sites. The primary aim is to understand the mechanisms of focussed ultrasound in nerve ablation and how these can be delivered by novel miniaturised FUS devices.


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R513222/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2279739 Studentship EP/R513222/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2023 Jack Stevenson Stevenson