SOUNDPET’s main goal is to develop an MRI-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) robotic system for preclinical use of small and large animals. The final product will be applied in pets (dogs and cats) with naturally occurring mammary cancer. The goal is to produce a preclinical robotic system (final product) with 4 degrees of freedom (DOF) that can sonicate phantoms, excised tissue and animals using MRgFUS. The tissue heating can be accurately monitored using MR thermometry. The ultrasonic system will include a single element transducer (ranging from 20-60 mm in diameter) and will operate with a frequency ranging from 0.5 to 4 MHz. A software will be developed that will control this medical device. The system will be evaluated in phantoms, excised tissue and animals. The same mechanisms that result in cancer in humans are operative in pets and are operative in other animals as well. Man’s best friend is probably man’s best new biomedical friend. This system can be modified in the future for use in humans by scaling up the design of the robotic system.
The proposed technology intends to serve the community of non-invasive surgery using therapeutic ultrasound and MRI guidance for veterinary applications. The long term goal is to commercialize this technology (by the end of the project it will be in the state of final product). Since the device is applied in animals, there is no need to receive regulatory approvals (for example CE marking).
The project is co-funded by the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) and specifically from European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Research and innovation foundation( RIF) of Cyprus under the project SOUNDPET (INTEGRATED/0918/0008).