Researchers

Mike Bailey

Senior Principal Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Urology

Justin Ahn

Resident

UW Urology

Wayne Brisbane

Resident

UW Urology

Matthew Bruce

Principal Scientist/Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Alana Clark

Research Coordinator

Institute of Translational Health Sciences

Larry Crum

Principal Physicist

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Research Professor, Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering

Bryan Cunitz

Engineer IV

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Barbrina Dunmire

Senior Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

M. Kennedy Hall

Instructor

UW Emergency Medicine

Jonathan Harper

Assistant Professor

UW Department of Urology

Ryan Hsi

UW Department of Urology

Peter Kaczkowski

Principal Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Tatiana Khokhlova

Research Associate

CIMU

Vera Khokhlova

Senior Principal Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Wayne Kreider

Senior Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

John Kucewicz

Senior Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Wei Lu

Research Assistant

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Brian MacConaghy

Physicist IV

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Philip C. May

Resident

UW Urology

Marla Paun

Senior Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Oleg Sapozhnikov

Senior Principal Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Julianna Simon

Research Associate

CIMU

Mathew Sorensen

Assistant Professor

UW Deptartment of Urology

Rusty Starr

Research Manager

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Jeff Thiel

Sonographer

UW Radiology

Yak-Nam Wang

Senior Engineer

CIMU Department

APL-UW

Funding

NIH

NSBRI

UW CoMotion

Washington Research Foundation

Institute of Translational Health Sciences

W. H. Coulter Foundation

Ultrasonic Detection, Propulsion + Comminution of Kidney Stones

Current Research at the University of Washington

The Flexible Ultrasound System

This is the first new kidney stone management system in 30 years. It's a revolutionary treatment.

NASA funded us to invent this technology that can, with the transducer probe pressed up against the skin, use the sound wave force to push stones, and to direct their movement out of the kidney.

This new treatment is non-invasive and powered by focused ultrasound, providing safe, timely management of kidney stones on Earth and, very soon, in space.

Tractor Beams
Continuing R+D
Benefits: Urologists + Patients

Tractor beam doesn’t sound very scientific — it sounds like science fiction. But these acoustic waves can be focused and shaped to build a cage of pressure around the stone.

We’re working on a complicated system in the lab to make the acoustic beams and also getting straight to the clinic and trying this with the existing system we’ve built that can push, break, and image stones.

Videos Produced by NSBRI

Pushing Kidney Stones Part 1
Part 2

Astronauts have a higher risk of developing kidney stones because of the microgravity environment. They can put an astronaut out of commission or be life-threatening. We have to develop a capability that does not require surgery, a urologist, or ionizing radiation. Ultrasound fits the bill.

An All-in-One Kidney Stone Treatment System

This research is developing a new ultrasound device to detect, size, fragment, and expel kidney stones.

Stone Detection + Sizing (S-Mode). Our B-Mode ultrasound imaging has been customized to enhance stone contrast with surrounding tissue. In addition, we have optimized the Doppler 'twinkling' to aid in the detection of kidney stones.

Stone Targeting + Repositioning. The same ultrasound probe that is used for imaging is used to reposition kidney stones and stone motion is monitored with B-mode in real time.

Burst Wave Lithotripsy (BWL). We are investigating a new mechanism for stone fragmentation. Burst waves of lower pressure than shockwaves can be used to break stones into barticles < 2 mm. Treatments could potentially be faster and with less injury than ESWL.

Continuing Research

  • Further optimization of push force profile
  • Safety and effectiveness testing of BWL
  • Automated stone detection algorithms
  • In vivo validation of stone detection and sizing

From Researchers' Ideas to Clinical Trials

Patient Trials Begin
Pathway to Clinic
Prototype Demo
R & D

This dedicated ultrasound system is capable of non-invasive, real-time, image-guided repositioning of kidney stones. We can move stones while patients are awake so there’s no pain — this can be an office procedure. The real goal is to relocate small stones to facilitate their passage.

This is completely novel technology. There’s nothing like it out there.

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