Researchers have developed a window-like cranial implant through which doctors can send laser-based and ultrasound-based therapies to the brain — without having to repeatedly cut open the skull. The implant, called a "Window to the Brain," is made of a transparent, ceramic material called Yttria Stabilized Zirconia (the same ceramic product used in hip implants and dental crowns) that could be used to replace a portion of the cranium. It allows easy, targeted transmission of ultrasound to treat a variety of brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases — ultrasound can also be used to kill cancer cells, dissolve blood clots during stroke, and open the blood-brain barrier to enhance drug delivery.
Photos by David Baillot/UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Press release: jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news/news_releases/release.sfe?id=2270