Pre-Conference "Half-day" Workshop - Suite 7

Focused ultrasound therapy and robotic technology: from the concept to the bedside


[W1/2.4], August 25th 8.30 AM – 13:00 PM


Therapeutic Ultrasound is an emerging field of research. It potentially allows the treatment of different pathologies non-invasively. Further figures of merit are the precision, rapidity, selectivity and the absence of ionizing radiations. The technological developments of the latest years brought to an exponential growth of the equipment and devices available in the market and of the indications from the European an American Committees. It has been clinically demonstrated that therapeutic ultrasound produces several advantageous effects. However, there are still some lacks from a technological viewpoint which slower a real clinical translation. These issues will be on the basis of the proposed workshop, whose final aim is to present the latest advances and the still open problems to a different community, which share the same final targets and the same methodologies, instruments and approaches.

The number of papers related to therapeutic ultrasound in EMBC is still limited. At the same time, this interest is lively, as indicated by different projects in the field and continuous attention by the largest companies involved in healthcare in therapeutic ultrasound. In the latest years, the proposers have spent several efforts in the combination of therapeutic ultrasound and robotics, as an example of integration between different and converging field.

The workshop could be organized in the following sessions:

  • Therapeutic Ultrasound as a whole: physical bases, bioeffects, state-of-the-art of the industrial/research community
  • Applications: from a clinical and engineering viewpoint
  • Technological challenges: this section will include therapy planning, image guidance and image processing, therapy assessment, intracavitary devices, ultrasound at the microscale (interaction between ultrasound and milli/micro devices such as microbubbles and ultrasound responsive targets), cell stimulation.



Prof. Arianna Menciassi, The BioRobotics Insititute, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, Pisa (Italy)

Prof. Andreas Melzer, Institute for Medical Science and Technology IMSaT, University Dundee  (UK)


- Prof Franco Orsi, Instituto Europeo di Oncologia (IEO), Milan, Italy

ORSIFranco Orsi is the Medical Director of the Interventional Radiology Unit at the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) and he is the person in charge for the HIFU treatment at IEO. He is Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Milan University (from 2000), Visiting Researcher of MR research center in Massachusetts General Hospital and Member of Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society in Europe (CIRSE).

Title of the presentation:  Clinical applications of HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) and CEUS (Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound)


- Prof Ghulam Nabi, Department of Urology, University of Dundee, Scotland, UK

Ghulam Nabi is Head of Division/Reader in Surgical Uro-oncology and Senior Clinical Lecturer at Medical Research Council in Dundee. Dr Nabi’s research for urological cancers focuses also on Focused Ultrasound Surgery (FUS).

Title of the presentation: State of the Art and Future Applicationa for FUS in Urology


- Prof. Takashi Azuma and Dr. Norihiro Koizumi, University of Tokyo, Japan

Prof. Takashi Azuma is Associate Professor at the Department of Bioengineering of The University of Tokyo. Prof Azuma’s research focuses on realization of High intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) systems in order to improve accuracy and throughput of HIFU therapy using therapeutic monitoring technology, HIFU beamforming and ultrasound gene transfection.

Dr. Norihiro Koizumi is Assistant Professor (lecturer) at the Department of Bioengineering of The University of Tokyo. Mr Koizumi’s research focuses on innovative non-Invasive Ultrasound Theragnostic Systems.

Title of the presentation: Tissue response monitoring during ultrasound therapy and solutions for motion compensation


- Dr. Matteo Santoro, CAMELOT BIOMEDICAL SYSTEM SRL, Genova, Italy

Dr Matteo Santoro (PhD) is CAMELOT biomedical system srl CEO and director of innovation, he had several research experiences in Italy and North America, including a postdoctoral fellow at IIT-MIT. His recent research focused on theory and algorithms for machine learning and medical image analysis, whereas his doctorate research focused on combining computer vision techniques and formal methods for assistive robotics.

Title of the presentation: Industrial perspective of the HIFU technologies


- Dr. Erik Dumont, IMAGE GUIDED THERAPY SA, Bordeaux, France

Erik Dumont is the CEO of Image Guided Therapy company, has a long experience of medical device marketing, gained during his earlier career at Philips Medical Systems, where he was responsible, as a clinical scientist, of all the research partnerships in France. He is a PI in an NIH funded research, in collaboration with the University of Utah, to develop an MRgFUS system optimized for the treatment of breast cancer. He is currently organizing the product launch of an innovative device based on MRgFUS to study mechanisms for targeted drug delivery, targeted gene activation in gene therapy.

Title of the presentation: HIFU transducers: potentials and limitations


- Dr Steffen Tretbar, Fraunhofer IBMT, Germany

Steffen Tretbar is the head of Department Medical Ultrasound at Fraunhofer-Institut für Biomedizinische Technik (IBMT).

Title of the presentation: Advanced technologies for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Ultrasound



- Francois Lacoste, Theraclion company - USgHIFU, Paris, France

François Lacoste is the Chief Scientific Officer of Theraclion company. He is a recognized HIFU expert with 25 years experience as an engineer in R&D for projects in the field of non-invasive therapies using physical agents. At EDAP-TMS, where he headed R&D for 15 years, he instigated HIFU projects, notably the thyroid project.

Title of the presentation: Theraclion’s current robotic HIFU technology and future developments

JOINT US @ 37th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC)

MiCo - Milano Conference Center - Milan, Italy, August 25-29 2015


8.30 - 8.45 Welcome (Prof. Menciassi and Prof. Melzer)

8.45 - 9.15 Introduction (Prof. Andreas Melzer)

9.15 - 9.45 Advanced technologies for Diagnostic and Therapeutic Ultrasound (Dr. Steffen Tretbar)

9.45 - 10.15 Clinical applications of HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) and CEUS (Contrast Enhanced Ultrasound) (Prof. Franco Orsi)

10.15 - 10.45 State of the Art and Future Application for FUS in Urology (Prof. Ghulam Nabi)

10.45 - 11.00 Break

11.00 - 11.30 Tissue response monitoring during ultrasound therapy and solutions for motion compensation (Prof. Takashi Azuma/Dr. Norihiro Koizumi)

11.30 - 11.45 Theraclion’s current robotic HIFU technology and future developments (Dr. Francois Lacoste)

11.45 - 12.00 HIFU transducers: potentials and limitations (Dr. Erik Dumont)

12.00 - 12.15 Industrial perspective of the HIFU technologies (Dr. Matteo Santoro)

12.15 - 12.30 Focused Ultrasound Therapy using robotic approach: FUTURA project (Prof. Arianna Menciassi)

12.30 - 12.45  Wrap up and topic definition for the afternoon session (Chair: Prof. Menciassi and Prof. Melzer)

12.45 End of the morning session of the Workshop



At the end of the WORKSHOP the organizer will discuss "Past, present and future of HIFU" @ SUITE 4

Some pictures from the Discussion session are reported here



A total of 40 registered people have been taken part to the Workshop and 20 of these participated to the afternoon Discussion section too. The majority of the participants come from University with some representatives from the most active industries in the field of HIFU (e.g. Philips and Sony) and robotics (e.g. KUKA and ABB).


The geographical distribution of the participants was: France, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Singapore and Italy.