A Caltech Library Service

Ultrasound Technologies for Imaging and Modulating Neural Activity

Rabut, Claire and Yoo, Sangjin and Hurt, Robert C. and Jin, Zhiyang and Li, Hongyi and Guo, Hongsun and Ling, Bill and Shapiro, Mikhail G. (2020) Ultrasound Technologies for Imaging and Modulating Neural Activity. Neuron, 108 (1). pp. 93-110. ISSN 0896-6273. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2020.09.003.

[img] PDF (Tables S1 and S2) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Visualizing and perturbing neural activity on a brain-wide scale in model animals and humans is a major goal of neuroscience technology development. Established electrical and optical techniques typically break down at this scale due to inherent physical limitations. In contrast, ultrasound readily permeates the brain, and in some cases the skull, and interacts with tissue with a fundamental resolution on the order of 100 μm and 1 ms. This basic ability has motivated major efforts to harness ultrasound as a modality for large-scale brain imaging and modulation. These efforts have resulted in already-useful neuroscience tools, including high-resolution hemodynamic functional imaging, focused ultrasound neuromodulation, and local drug delivery. Furthermore, recent breakthroughs promise to connect ultrasound to neurons at the genetic level for biomolecular imaging and sonogenetic control. In this article, we review the state of the art and ongoing developments in ultrasonic neurotechnology, building from fundamental principles to current utility, open questions, and future potential.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Yoo, Sangjin0000-0002-0449-4242
Hurt, Robert C.0000-0002-4347-6901
Jin, Zhiyang0000-0002-4411-6991
Li, Hongyi0000-0001-6970-0230
Ling, Bill0000-0002-1276-7204
Shapiro, Mikhail G.0000-0002-0291-4215
Additional Information:© 2020 Elsevier Inc. Available online 14 October 2020. The authors thank members of the Shapiro, Andersen, Tsao, Tanter, and Caskey laboratories for helpful discussions. C.R. is supported by the Human Frontier Science Program Cross-Disciplinary Fellowship. S.Y. is supported by the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation NARSAD Young Investigator Award. Related research in the Shapiro laboratory was supported by the National Institutes of Health (R01EB018975, UG3MH120102, U01NS099724, and RF1MH117080), the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (W911NF-14-1-0111 and D14AP00050), the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, the Sontag Foundation, the Burroughs Wellcome Fund, the Jacobs Institute of Molecular Engineering in Medicine, the Rosen Center for Bioengineering, the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience, and the Heritage Medical Research Institute. Author Contributions: All authors wrote the manuscript and prepared figures. Declaration of Interests: The California Institute of Technology owns patents and patent applications related to some of the technologies described in this article.
Group:Heritage Medical Research Institute, Rosen Bioengineering Center, Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Human Frontier Science ProgramUNSPECIFIED
Brain and Behavior Research FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)W911NF-14-1-0111
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)D14AP00050
David and Lucille Packard FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Sontag FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Burroughs Wellcome FundUNSPECIFIED
Jacobs Institute for Molecular Engineering for MedicineUNSPECIFIED
Donna and Benjamin M. Rosen Bioengineering CenterUNSPECIFIED
Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for NeuroscienceUNSPECIFIED
Heritage Medical Research InstituteUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:ultrasound; focused ultrasound; neuroscience; functional imaging; molecular imaging; neuromodulation; sonogenetics
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20201019-101559925
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Claire Rabut, Sangjin Yoo, Robert C. Hurt, Zhiyang Jin, Hongyi Li, Hongsun Guo, Bill Ling, Mikhail G. Shapiro, Ultrasound Technologies for Imaging and Modulating Neural Activity, Neuron, Volume 108, Issue 1, 2020, Pages 93-110, ISSN 0896-6273, (
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:106143
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:20 Oct 2020 18:34
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:51

Repository Staff Only: item control page