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Francesco Curra

Principal Engineer

Assistant Professor, Bioengineering






2000-present and while at APL-UW

Ultrasound-based targeting and monitoring of high intensity focused ultrasound fields

Curra, F.P., and N. Owen, "Ultrasound-based targeting and monitoring of high intensity focused ultrasound fields," J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 129, 2439, doi: 10.1121/1.3587980, 2011.

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1 Apr 2011

A new method to address the challenging tasks of image-guidance, targeting, and treatment monitoring during HIFU treatments is presented. The approach, enabled by the use of a novel multi-layer PZT-PVDF array with broad receive bandwidth in conjunction with a programmable ultrasound engine, uses the passive-mode received echoes of the imaging array with a custom pixel-based beamforming for HIFU focal tracking and targeting, allowing real-time two-dimensional (2D) B-mode visualization of the HIFU beam. Temperature monitoring during treatment is based on acoustic nonlinear propagation theory and the physical relationship of sound speed and attenuation to frequency and temperature. The harmonics-rich received echoes are processed differentially, encoded into an RGB additive color channel, beamformed, and overlayed in color over regular B-mode images. Dynamic local temperature changes in the region of interest become visible as the 2D color image changes from frame to frame. Preliminary results on beam visualization and temperature estimations during HIFU exposure in ex-vivo muscle tissue will be presented.

Effect of elastic waves in the metal reflector on bubble dynamics at the focus of an electrohydraulic lithotripter

Sapozhnikov, O.A., W. Kreider, M.R. Bailey, V.A. Khokhlova, and F. Curra, "Effect of elastic waves in the metal reflector on bubble dynamics at the focus of an electrohydraulic lithotripter," J. Acoust. Soc. Am., 123, 3367-3368, 2008.

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1 May 2008

In extracorporeal electrohydraulic lithotripters, a hemi-ellipsoidal metal reflector is used to focus a spherical wave generated by an electrical discharge. The spark source is positioned at one of the ellipsoid foci (F1); this makes the reflected wave focused at the other focus (F2). Despite the common assumption that the reflector behaves as a rigid mirror, the true reflection phenomenon includes the generation and reverberation of elastic waves in the reflector, which reradiate to the medium. Although these waves are much lower in amplitude than the specularly reflected wave, they may influence cavitation at F2. To explore such effects, waves in water and a brass reflector were modeled in finite differences based on the linearized equations of elasticity. The bubble response was simulated based on a Rayleigh-type equation for the bubble radius. In addition, the role of acoustic nonlinearity was estimated by numerical modeling. It is shown that the elastic waves in the reflector give rise to a long "ringing" tail, which results in nonmonotonic behavior of the bubble radius during its inertial growth after shock wave passage. This numerical result is qualitatively confirmed by experimental observations of bubble behavior using high-speed photography.

Therapeutic ultrasound: Surgery and drug delivery

Curra, F.P., and L.A. Crum, "Therapeutic ultrasound: Surgery and drug delivery," Acoust. Sci. Technol., 24, 343-348, doi:10.1250/ast.24.343, 2003.

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30 Jan 2003

The field of therapeutic ultrasound is emerging with strong potential and broad medical applications. Characterized by its ability to penetrate at depth inside the body without harming intervening tissue, ultrasound has posed the basis for a new array of noninvasive therapies. Al low intensities, important interactions occur in the tissue; wound healing is accelerated, functional recovery is enhanced, and bone growth is more rapid. At moderate intensities, cellular membranes show transient permeability, blood clots dissolution is increased, and gene-transfection is accomplished. At higher intensities, ultrasound produces lesions and stops bleeding by heating the tissue beyond its protein denaturalization threshold and thus provides a noninvasive, bloodless alternative to conventional surgery. This article presents a review of moderate and high intensity applications, including their mechanisms of action and the imaging modalities used for guidance and monitoring.

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Multilayer Ultrasound Transducer Devices for High Power Transmission and Wide-band Reception and Associated Systems and Methods

Patent Number: 8,500,643

Francesco Curra, Peter Kaczkowski, Neil Owen

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6 Aug 2013

Multilayer ultrasound transducer devices for high power transmission and wide-band reception and associated methods and systems are disclosed herein. An ultrasound transducer device in accordance with an embodiment of the present technology, for example, can include a first array of first transducers and a second array of second transducers that are oriented substantially parallel to one another. The first transducers can include a first piezoelectric material that is configured to transmit acoustic waves, and the second transducers can include a second piezoelectric material that is configured to receive echoes from the acoustic waves. The ultrasound transducer device can further include an electrical connection layer between the first and second arrays that is electrically coupled to the first and second transducers.

Method and Apparatus for Ultrasound Dental Structure Scanning and Characterization

Record of Invention Number: 46462

John Kucewicz, Francesco Curra


30 Mar 2013

Acoustic Disruption and Deactivation of Biofilms in Catheters

Record of Invention Number: 45929

Yak-Nam Wang, Mike Bailey, Francesco Curra


15 Jan 2012

More Inventions

Acoustics Air-Sea Interaction & Remote Sensing Center for Environmental & Information Systems Center for Industrial & Medical Ultrasound Electronic & Photonic Systems Ocean Engineering Ocean Physics Polar Science Center