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Monitoring focused ultrasound neuromodulation in real-time

Primary Investigators:
Charles F. Caskey (PI)
Tony Phipps (Graduate Student) 

Brief Description of Project:
Focused ultrasound (FUS) neuromodulation is being widely explored as tool for both basic science research and clinical applications. The use of different FUS parameters can alter the modulatory effects observed. Our work focuses on applying FUS in an MRI scanner and measuring neuromodulation with fMRI. Accurate delivery of the FUS energy and knowledge of the timing is important for understanding the data gathered during these experiments.

The goal of this project will be to build a tool for controlling and logging FUS pulses. The ideal control box will be able to both log when FUS pulses are delivered within the magnet and control the FUS pulse sequence parameters being used. A microcontroller is able to perform both of these functions. The ability to rapidly switch between FUS parameters will be built and programmed. Additionally, an accurate log of the outputted energy which can be correlated to the fMRI data will be created.

Desired Qualifications:
Interest in working with microcontrollers and experience with coding and signal analysis.
 
Nature of Supervision:
The student will work directly with a graduate student and PI.
 
A Brief Research Plan (period is for 10 weeks):
Weeks 1-2: Literature and technical review of FUS neuromodulation and microcontrollers
Weeks 3-4: Design and prototyping
Weeks 5-7: Building the control system
Weeks 8-9: Validating the system
Week 10: Lab presentation and documentation 

Number of Open Slots: 1
 
Contact Information:
Name: Charles Caskey
Department: Biomedical Engineering
Email: charles.f.caskey@vanderbilt.edu