Focused ultrasound (FUS)-enabled liquid biopsy (sonobiopsy) is an emerging technique for the noninvasive and spatiotemporally controlled diagnosis of brain cancer by inducing blood-brain barrier (BBB) disruption to release brain tumor-specific biomarkers into the blood circulation. The feasibility, safety, and efficacy of sonobiopsy were demonstrated in both small and large animal models using magnetic resonance-guided FUS devices. However, the high cost and complex operation of magnetic resonance-guided FUS devices limit the future broad application of sonobiopsy in the clinic. In this study, a neuronavigation-guided sonobiopsy device is developed and its targeting accuracy is characterized in vitro, in vivo, and in silico. The sonobiopsy device integrated a commercially available neuronavigation system (BrainSight) with a nimble, lightweight FUS transducer. Its targeting accuracy was characterized in vitro in a water tank using a hydrophone. The performance of the device in BBB disruption was verified in vivo using a pig model, and the targeting accuracy was quantified by measuring the offset between the target and the actual locations of BBB opening. The feasibility of the FUS device in targeting glioblastoma (GBM) tumors was evaluated in silico using numerical simulation by the k-Wave toolbox in glioblastoma patients. It was found that the targeting accuracy of the neuronavigation-guided sonobiopsy device was 1.7 ± 0.8 mm as measured in the water tank. The neuronavigation-guided FUS device successfully induced BBB disruption in pigs with a targeting accuracy of 3.3 ± 1.4 mm. The targeting accuracy of the FUS transducer at the GBM tumor was 5.5 ± 4.9 mm. Age, sex, and incident locations were found to be not correlated with the targeting accuracy in GBM patients. This study demonstrated that the developed neuronavigation-guided FUS device could target the brain with a high spatial targeting accuracy, paving the foundation for its application in the clinic.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1528-1538
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2023


  • Focused ultrasound
  • blood-brain barrier
  • glioblastoma
  • neuronavigation
  • targeting accuracy


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization of the Targeting Accuracy of a Neuronavigation-Guided Transcranial FUS System In Vitro, In Vivo, and In Silico'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this