Current Research Studies
Neuroengineering & Translational Research
The Department of Neurological Surgery is currently conducting the following study in Neuroengineering & Translational Research/ Medical Device Development:
Transcutaneous Acoustic Palpation (TAP) for Localizing Painful Pathology
Principal Investigator: Pierre Mourad, PhD
Funded By: Life Sciences Discovery Fund
Focus: To demonstrate the use of intense-focused ultrasound in identifying the source of deep pain.
Pain, acute or chronic, is a hallmark of many diseases and disorders. In a number of maladies, localizing the source or origin of the pain is difficult, if not impossible. Pain that cannot be localized is very difficult to diagnose and treat. The investigators have developed a means to non-invasively localize painful tissues, especially the deep tissue beyond a health care practitioner's touch.
The method uses intense-focused ultrasound to generate increased sensations deep within tissues that help to localize the source of pain. Using a transcutaneous acoustic palpation (TAP) device, the researchers will test pain localization in controlled experiments. The TAP device aims at improving the diagnosis of painful conditions, leading to more rapid delivery of therapies and improving patient outcomes. With better pain diagnosis, TAP could potentially reduce the billions of dollars spent annually in the U.S. for managing pain and its related economic consequences.