Experience with a small animal hyperthermia ultrasound system (SAHUS): Report on 83 tumours

P. Novák, E. G. Moros, J. J. Parry, B. E. Rogers, R. J. Myerson, A. Zeug, J. E. Locke, R. Rossin, W. L. Straube, A. K. Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


An external local ultrasound (US) system was developed to induce controlled hyperthermia of subcutaneously implanted tumours in small animals (e.g., mice and rats). It was designed to be compatible with a small animal positron emission tomography scanner (microPET) to facilitate studies of hyperthermia-induced tumour re-oxygenation using a PET radiopharmaceutical, but it is applicable for any small animal study requiring controlled heating. The system consists of an acrylic applicator bed with up to four independent 5 MHz planar disc US transducers of 1 cm in diameter, a four-channel radiofrequency (RF) generator, a multiple thermocouple thermometry unit, and a personal computer with custom monitoring and controlling software. Although the system presented here was developed to target tumours of up to 1 cm in diameter, the applicator design allows for different piezoelectric transducers to be exchanged and operated within the 3.5-6.5 MHz band to target different tumour sizes. Temperature feedback control software was developed on the basis of a proportional-integral-derivative (PID) approach when the measured temperatures were within a selectable temperature band about the target temperature. Outside this band, an on/off control action was applied. Perfused tissue-mimicking phantom experiments were performed to determine optimum controller gain constants, which were later employed successfully in animal experiments. The performance of the SAHUS (small animal hyperthermia ultrasound system) was tested using several tumour types grown in thighs of female nude (nu/nu) mice. To date, the system has successfully treated 83 tumours to target temperatures in the range of 41-43°C for periods of 65 min on average.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5127-5139
Number of pages13
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number21
StatePublished - Nov 7 2005


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