Noninvasive Transcranial Stimulation of Rat Abducens Nerve by Focused Ultrasound

Hyungmin Kim, Seyed Javid Taghados, Krisztina Fischer, Lee So Maeng, Shinsuk Park, Seung Schik Yoo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Citations (Scopus)


Nonpharmacologic and nonsurgical transcranial modulation of the nerve function may provide new opportunities in evaluation and treatment of cranial nerve diseases. This study investigates the possibility of using low-intensity transcranial focused ultrasound (FUS) to selectively stimulate the rat abducens nerve located above the base of the skull. FUS (frequencies of 350 kHz and 650 kHz) operating in a pulsed mode was applied to the abducens nerve of Sprague-Dawley rats under stereotactic guidance. The abductive eyeball movement ipsilateral to the side of sonication was observed at 350 kHz, using the 0.36-msec tone burst duration (TBD), 1.5-kHz pulse repetition frequency (PRF), and the overall sonication duration of 200 msec. Histologic and behavioral monitoring showed no signs of disruption in the blood brain barrier (BBB), as well as no damage to the nerves and adjacent brain tissue resulting from the sonication. As a novel functional neuro-modulatory modality, the pulsed application of FUS has potential for diagnostic and therapeutic applications in diseases of the peripheral nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1568-1575
Number of pages8
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Sept

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by grants from the National Institute of Health ( R21 NS074124 to Yoo) and the National Research Foundation of Korea (Korean Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, 2010-0027294 to Park). The authors gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Drs. Yong-Zhi Zhang and Byoung-Kyong Min in data acquisition and animal preparation. The authors also thank Alan Chiu for editorial support.


  • Abducens nerve
  • Brain
  • Cranial nerve VI
  • Focused ultrasound
  • Neuromodulation
  • Peripheral nervous system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Noninvasive Transcranial Stimulation of Rat Abducens Nerve by Focused Ultrasound'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this