Focused ultrasound mediated technologies towards precision medicine for treatment of brain disorders


Event details

Date and time 01.03.2021 14:0015:00  
Speaker Dr Mehmet Ozdas
Category Conferences - Seminars

Technological and scientific advancements over the last several decades elucidated the brain's staggering complexity.  Animal model studies let to insights into the underlying mechanisms of brain disorders, implying the need for targeting specific brain circuits. However, current treatment modalities mainly rely on systemic drug administration, which are often infective and leads to debilitating side effects due to non-specific targeting of brain circuits. While several methods have been developed to modulate specific brain areas/circuits, these methods either suffer from spatial resolution or lack of molecular specificity or require highly invasive procedures. To address this unmet need, we developed ultrasound-controlled drug carriers (with FDA-approved components) and novel ultrasound pulse sequences to aggregate/concentrate and subsequently uncage drugs focally within almost any brain region with millimeter precision. Our technology achieves molecularly specific and spatially precise targeting of brain circuits with orders of magnitude less drug than systemic drug administration to achieve similar levels of physiological modulation of brain targets.  Our ultrasound pulse sequences use very low powers, thus achieving drug delivery without opening the Blood-Brain Barrier. These advantages will likely lead to significant clinical benefits and address many unmet needs towards precision medicine to treat various brain disorders.


Dr. Ozdas received his MSc in Analogue and Digital Integrated Circuit Design from Imperial College London and his PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH Zurich) in 2019. During his PhD dissertation research at the Neurotechnology Laboratory of Prof. Mehmet Fatih Yanik, he worked on focused ultrasound and ultrasound-sensitive drug carriers to remotely concentrate drugs in the brain with millimeter resolution and with orders of magnitude higher efficiency than systemic drug administration. He is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Diffuse Midline Glioma Research Center of the University Children’s Hospital Zurich and the Neurotechnology Laboratory of ETH Zurich, where he is focused on developing novel tools for therapeutic interventions specifically for CNS disorders, including intractable childhood brain tumors. His research employs focused ultrasound, in-vivo electrophysiology, ultrasound-sensitive drug carriers, and in-vivo micro-dialysis. His studies have been recognized by national and international organizations including the ETH Medal for outstanding PhD Thesis by ETH Zurich, the Young Investigator Award by Focused Ultrasound Foundation and the Marino Memorial Talent Prize by Swiss Pediatric Oncology Group and have also been highlighted by Science Magazine, Nature Communications and others.