Therapeutic HIFU has been used as a non-invasive energy modality to compromise nerve function since the 1950s. Several contributions have been made in recent years to characterize these effects on nerve function.
In this study, short repeated bursts of HIFU, termed as pulsed high intensity focused ultrasound (pHIFU), was directed at nerve tissue. The pHIFU transducer operated at a central frequency of 1.95 MHz and had a focal length of approximately 12 cm. The ventral nerve cord from the American Lobster (Homarus americanus), n=15, was sonicated cumulatively at 3 exposure times: 1s, 6s, and 16s, at an intensity of 1010 W/cm2, or focal pressure of 5.51 MPa. The compound action potential (CAP) and conduction velocity (CV) were seen to decrease as sonication exposure time to the nerve increased. The experiments performed demonstrate the feasibility to modulate nerve CAP and nerve CV using non-thermal mechanisms of ultrasound.