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Stephanie Totten

Research Scientist/Engineer II






A.A. Veterinary Technology, Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture, 2013

B.S. Veterinary Technologist, University of Nebraska - Lincoln, 2014


2000-present and while at APL-UW

Safety of image-guided treatment of the liver with ultrasound and micro bubbles in an in vivo porcine model

Keller, S.B., Y.-N. Wang, S. Totten, R.S. Yeung, and M.A. Averkiou, "Safety of image-guided treatment of the liver with ultrasound and micro bubbles in an in vivo porcine model," Ultrasound Med. Biol., 47, 3211-3220, doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2021.07.003, 2021.

More Info

1 Nov 2021

Ultrasound and microbubbles are useful for both diagnostic imaging and targeted drug delivery, making them ideal conduits for theranostic interventions. Recent reports have indicated the preclinical success of microbubble cavitation for enhancement of chemotherapy in abdominal tumors; however, there have been limited studies and variable efficacy in clinical implementation of this technique. This is likely because in contrast to the high pressures and long cycle lengths seen in successful preclinical work, current clinical implementation of microbubble cavitation for drug delivery generally involves low acoustic pressures and short cycle lengths to fit within clinical guidelines. To translate the preclinical parameter space to clinical adoption, a relevant safety study in a healthy large animal is required. Therefore, the purpose of this work was to evaluate the safety of ultrasound cavitation treatment (USCTx) in a healthy porcine model using a modified Philips EPIQ with S5-1 as the focused source. We performed USCTx on eight healthy pigs and monitored health over the course of 1 wk. We then performed an acute study of USCTx to evaluate immediate tissue damage. Contrast-enhanced ultrasound exams were performed before and after each treatment to investigate perfusion changes within the treated areas, and blood and urine were evaluated for liver damage biomarkers. We illustrate, through quantitative analysis of contrast-enhanced ultrasound data, blood and urine analyses and histology, that this technique and the parameter space considered are safe within the time frame evaluated. With its safety confirmed using a clinical-grade ultrasound scanner and contrast agent, USCTx could be easily translated into clinical trials for improvement of chemotherapy delivery. This represents the first safety study assessing the bio-effects of microbubble cavitation from relevant ultrasound parameters in a large animal model.

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