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UFFC-S Latin America Webinar Series

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Register for the upcoming webinar on 7 December 2023!
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We are excited to continue our UFFC-S Latin America Webinar Series. Each webinar will feature a short early career talk and a main talk followed by a 10-minute Q&A session. Registration is free and will be limited to the first 300 registrants per event. For more information and registration details, please see below.


Upcoming Webinar

Webinar 6

7 December 2023 at 3 PM EST (-5:00 UTC)
 

Short Early Career Talk (10 minutes)
Talk Title: Ultrasonic thermometry

Dr. Ivonne Bazán-Trujillo
Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, México

Main Talk (30 minutes)
Talk Title: Real-time thermal strain imaging for monitoring HIFU treatment using an ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound system

Dr. Juvenal Ormachea
Verasonics Inc

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Short Early Career Talk (10 minutes)

Ultrasonic thermometry

Dr. Ivonne Bazán-Trujillo
Dr. Bazan received her PhD in the field of Bioelectronic Engineering from Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados del IPN, México. She is currently serving as a professor at Universidad Autonoma de Aguascalientes, México. Her primary research lines include the ultrasound as a diagnostic tool and digital signal processing. Dr. Bazán is the co-author of more than 20 papers in this field.

Main Talk (30 minutes)

Real-time thermal strain imaging for monitoring HIFU treatment using an ultrasound-guided focused ultrasound system

Dr. Juvenal Ormachea
Juvenal Ormachea received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in electronic engineering from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru university, and his Ph.D. degree in biomedical ultrasound from the University of Rochester, NY, USA, under the supervision of Dr. Kevin J. Parker. He subsequently did a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship and stayed at UoR as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2021, Dr. Ormachea joined Verasonics Inc in Kirkland, WA, USA. He is currently a Senior Scientist in this company and his research interests include shear wave elastography, focused ultrasound applications, and US imaging for real time monitoring of HIFU therapies.


Previous Webinars

Webinar 5

10 August 2023 at 3 PM EDT (UTC -4:00)

Short Early Career Talk (10 minutes)
Title: Convolutional Neural Network Regression for Viscoelastic Parameter Estimation in Ultrasound Shear Wave Elastography

Dr. Luiz Vasconcelos
Mayo Clinic

Main Talk (30 minutes)
Title: Cortical Bone Assessment Using Ultrasonic Guided Waves: From Lab to Clinics

Dr. Jean Gabriel Minonzio
Universidad de Valparaíso
 

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Short Early Career Talk (10 minutes)

Convolutional Neural Network Regression for Viscoelastic Parameter Estimation in Ultrasound Shear Wave Elastography

Talk Abstract:
Ultrasound shear wave elastography (SWE) techniques have been very useful for the analysis of tissue rheological properties by evaluating induced shear wave propagation in a given tissue. Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) have been established as one of the main neural network architectures for image processing. Most implementations have relied on CNNs for their classification capabilities in both binary and categorical tasks. In this talk, I will demonstrate that CNNs are also capable of performing regression tasks based on simulated shear wave propagation images. Staggered-grid finite difference simulations based on a Kelvin-Voigt rheological model were used to generate wave motion images with shear elasticity values ranging from 1-25 kPa, shear viscosities ranging from 0-10 Pa·s. The CNN architecture was able to estimate viscoelastic parameters with mean absolute error of less than 0.079 kPa and 0.052 Pa·s, for elasticity and viscosity, respectively. The method evaluated might enable simpler and more reliable non-invasive evaluation of tissue injuries that alter rheological parameters such as liver and kidney fibrosis. These results are also an example of CNN’s exceptional regression capabilities, providing novel tools for continuous parameters estimation based on imaging inputs.

Dr. Luiz Vasconcelos
Dr. Luiz Vasconcelos, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Ultrasound Laboratory at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, USA. He conducts research with Dr. Matthew Urban to develop novel ultrasound technologies and applications. His research interests include biomedical signal processing, data processing and machine learning for novel ultrasound elastography diagnostic applications, such as, detection of liver and kidney allograft rejection. He earned his doctorate degree in Bioinformatics and Computational Biology at the University of Minnesota and his bachelor’s in Electronic and Computational Engineering at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Main Talk (30 minutes)

Cortical Bone Assessment Using Ultrasonic Guided Waves: From Lab to Clinics

Talk Abstract:
Osteoporosis is still a worldwide problem, particularly due to associated fragility fractures at the spine or hip. Patients at risk of fracture are detected using the current X-Ray gold standard DXA (Dual XRay Absorptiometry), based on a calibrated 2D image. However, a majority of patients are still difficult to classify correctly to this day. Different alternatives have been proposed, such as 3D X-Rays, Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), or Ultrasound, the latter having advantages of being portable, without radiation, less expensive, and sensitive to mechanical properties. 
Among ultrasonic approaches, Bi-Directional Axial Transmission (BDAT) has been used to classify between fractured and non-fractured patients firstly using classical ultrasonic parameters, such as velocities or cortical thickness and porosity, obtained from an inverse problem using the SVD-based method. The classification performance has not yet been clearly improved compared to the gold standard. Recently, novel parameters obtained from structural analysis-guided wave spectrum images (GWSI) have been introduced. Compared to inverse problems, limited by solution ambiguities, these parameters can be automatically calculated. 
The aim of this talk is to present the traveled paths from lab experiments and wave modeling to clinical measurements and application. Differences and similarities between Latam, US, and Europe will be discussed. 

Dr. Jean-Gabriel Minonzio
Jean-Gabriel Minonzio (Member, IEEE) received a B.S. degree in engineering physics from the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles (ESPCI) de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France, in 2003, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physical acoustics from University Denis Diderot, Paris, in 2003 and 2006, respectively. He has been involved in the clinical measurement of guided waves in cortical bones with the Laboratoire d’Imagerie Biomédicale (LIB) associated with Sorbonne Université, CNRS, and INSERM and has been a Co-Founder of the startup Azalée, Paris. He is currently a Full Professor with the School of Informatics Engineering, Universidad de Valparaíso. In this context, he is also the Head of the Ph.D. Program in Applied Informatics, the Co-Head of the Center for Research and Development in Health Engineering (CINGS-UV), and a member of the Ph.D. Program Sciences and Engineering for Health. His main research interests include array signal processing, wave propagation modeling, and inverse problem in applied ultrasound. In 2021, he was also part of the Organizing Committee of the first IEEE Latin America Ultrasonics Symposium (LAUS) and the Latin America Outreach Initiative.
 


Webinar 4

27 April 2023 at 3 PM EDT (UTC -4:00)

Short Early Career Talk (10 Minutes): 
Advancing Cell Analysis: Leveraging Opto-Acoustofluidic Systems for Bioevent Monitoring

Dr. Uéslen Rocha
 Federal University of Alagoas

Main Talk (30 Minutes): 
Growing bulk piezoelectric crystals from the melt: some fundamentals

Dr. Manuel Lente
Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) 

Q&A Sesssion (10 Minutes):
Moderator

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Short Early Career Talk: 

Advancing Cell Analysis: Leveraging Opto-Acoustofluidic Systems for Bioevent Monitoring

Imagine having a powerful tool that can significantly improve your ability to study and analyze single cells. Our proposed opto-acoustofluidic system achieves just that, by combining Raman spectroscopy and acoustofluidics to provide remarkable enhancements in signal-to-noise ratio, observation time-span, and processing speed. In this talk, I will present a 3D-printed acoustofluidic device that forms effectively stable cell aggregates and facilitates Raman analysis without interference from substrates, leading to improved accuracy and applicability in single cell analysis.

Dr. Uéslen Rocha

Dr. Uéslen Rocha is an Assistant Professor at the Federal University of Alagoas with a Maria Zambrano fellow at the Nanomaterials for Bioimaging Group (nanoBIG) at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. His research interests include luminescent nanomaterials, biophysics, bioimaging, Raman spectroscopy, and acoustofluidics. Dr. Rocha holds an MSc and a Ph.D. in Condensed Matter Physics from the Federal University of Alagoas.

Main Talk: 

Growing bulk piezoelectric crystals from the melt: some fundamentals

Piezoelectric single crystals have higher physical properties than their counterparts polycrystals and are of strong interest of high-tech industry. From the basic science point of view, single crystals also allow investigations that polycrystals do not allow. Therefore, the production of piezoelectric single crystals is scientific-technologically strategic for a country. In particular, the growth of single crystals by fusion using the Bridgman-Stockbarger route demands investigations of the thermal properties of the precursor oxides used in the preparation of the crystals. The determination of the thermal properties of the oxides is crucial to properly set the temperature gradient in the region of the liquid-solid interface and to determine the growth rates of the crystals in order to produce crystals with high chemical and structural homogeneity. In this talk, it is briefly presented how the thermal properties of precursor oxides impacts on the growth of piezoelectric single crystals by the Bridgman-Stockbarger route. It will be shown how the previous thermal analysis of the precursor oxides determine the better crystal growth rates, as well as the better temperature gradients at the liquid-solid interface for each composition, in order to obtain high quality crystals.

Dr. Manuel Lente 

Bachelor degree in Physics from Federal University of São Carlos/Brazil and Doctor of Science from Federal University of São Carlos/Brazil. In 2008 he joined the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) as Full Professor. Has experience in the area of condensed matter physics, with emphasis on the production and characterization of: multiferroic ceramics, lead-free piezophotonic ceramics, ferroelectric photovoltaics ceramics and multiferroic single-crystals grown by the Bridgman-Stockbarger technique.


Webinar 3

27 October 2022 at 3 PM EDT (UTC -4:00)

Short Early Career Talk (10 Minutes): 
Synergistic Effects of Microbubble-Mediated Focused Ultrasound and Radiotherapy in an F98 Glioma Model

Stecia-Marie P. Fletcher
 Brigham and Women's Hospital

Main Talk (30 Minutes): 
Opportunities and Risks of Machine Learning in Echocardiography

Danay Valenzuela Rodríguez
Philips Healthcare

Q&A Sesssion (10 Minutes):
Moderator: 

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Short Early Career Talk: 

Synergistic effects of microbubble-mediated focused ultrasound and radiotherapy in a F98 glioma model
Combined microbubble-mediated focused ultrasound (FUS) and radiation therapy (RT) has been shown to improve outcomes in tumors outside the brain. Here, we study the effects of FUS+RT in a F98 glioma model. Tumor cells were implanted into the brains of 45 Fischer rats (n=4-8 per group): Controls, FUS, RT (4,8,15-Gy), and FUS+RT (4,8,15-Gy). 9 days after implantation, tumors were targeted using FUS (1-2W, 220kHz, 5ms bursts, 1Hz PRF, 180s, 20µL/kg Definity microbubbles), followed by RT. Tumor progression was monitored using MRI. At 4Gy, FUS+RT increased tumor doubling time by 11% compared to RT only and Controls (P<0.01). At higher doses, where RT alone had a significant effect, there were no significant differences in doubling time compared to RT alone. Tumor volumes were reduced by 21-57% (4Gy) and 20-48% (15Gy) compared with RT alone (P<0.05). No significant benefit was observed at 8Gy. A moderate, but not significant, increase in median survival was observed: 28 vs. 27days (4Gy), 30 vs. 29days (8Gy), and 35 vs. 33days (15Gy). However, at 4Gy, FUS+RT significantly improved survival by 6% compared to the control group (median survival = 27days), while RT only offered no improvement. This study indicates that FUS+RT may improve therapeutic outcomes in glioblastoma, particularly at low RT doses, where RT alone has no therapeutic benefit.

Stecia-Marie P. Fletcher
Stecia-Marie Fletcher is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Focused Ultrasound Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She conducts mentored research with Dr. Nathan McDannold to develop and test novel therapeutic ultrasound techniques. Her research interests include ultrasound-enhanced drug delivery across the blood-brain barrier and non-invasive neurosurgery, particularly for applications in glioblastoma multiforme and neurodegenerative diseases.  Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, Stecia has a strong background in Physical Acoustics and Biomedical Ultrasonics. She earned an undergraduate degree in Medical Physics from University College London in 2016, and defended her Ph.D. in Medical Biophysics from the University of Toronto in March 2021.

Main Talk:

Opportunities and Risks of Machine Learning in Echocardiography
Healthcare face enormous issues today, with growing number of patients and too few doctors to treat them. Artificial intelligence could and can help solving these problems, offering a variety of opportunities. We will discuss how AI has already become part of today’s clinical routine, with a focus on ultrasound. We will highlight the risks as well as the huge opportunities AI has to offer. Finally, we want to draw your attention to the less “fictional” but more pragmatic application of it, that it is about to become reality in echocardiography.

Danay Valenzuela Rodríguez
Danay Valenzuela Rodríguez has at least 25 years of experience in the health industry, always within the framework of echocardiographic imaging and research. Her professional career includes extensive experience as a multilingual international scientific speaker, as well as in the development and management of communication bridges; between technology applied to clinical practice. Danay is a graduate of the Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery from the Autonomous University of Madrid, Spain; and has a post-graduate degree in Echocardiography from the University Hospital of Treviso, Italy. She has to her credit at least five individual tutorials of 2 years duration each, to professional women who join after a long maternity leave. She currently works full time at Philips Healthcare, as Head of Global Clinical Marketing within the Cardiology Ultrasound Imaging Business group. She has also worked at General Electric, Siemens-Acuson and Hewlett-Packard; always within the Ultrasound Imaging Diagnostic field of research. Born in Havana, Cuba; has lived in Europe for over 30 years.

 

Webinar 2

1 September 2022 at 3 PM EDT (UTC -4:00)

Short Early Career Talk (10 Minutes): 
Optically-guided Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation in Mice

Héctor Estrada 
 ETH Zürich

Main Talk (30 Minutes): 
Acoustic Levitation Methods for Suspending and Manipulating Objects in Mid-Air

Marco A. B. Andrade 
Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo, Brazil 

Q&A Sesssion (10 Minutes):
Moderator: Dr. Karen Volke-Sepúlveda

Register Here

Short Early Career Talk: 

Optically-guided Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation in Mice
Transcranial ultrasound neuromodulation is a promising technique with the potential to help us treat and better understand the brain. Current methods of transcranial ultrasound delivery and functional brain imaging in humans cannot provide a detailed account of brain activity under ultrasonic stimulation. In order to know how ultrasound affects the neurons in a living brain, we combined the optical tools developed to image calcium dynamics in mice with precise ultrasound delivery (FLUS). Using a fluoro-thermal tag, we are able to visualize in real-time the position and relative intensity of the ultrasound focus. We hope the FLUS system and our methods can help clarify how ultrasound waves can be exploited in brain therapy and neuroscience.

Héctor Estrada
Héctor Estrada studied Acoustical Engineering in Chile and obtained his Ph.D. on physical acoustics from the Universidad Politecnica de Valencia, Spain, in 2011 investigating the ultrasound propagation through phononic plates. In 2012 he joined the Institute for Biological and Medical Imaging (IBMI), Helmholtz Zentrum München as a postdoctoral fellow developing hybrid optoacoustic-ultrasound neuroimaging system and studying the acoustic properties of the skull using lasers. He currently works at the University and ETH Zurich developing models and techniques for transcranial ultrasound and optoacoustics. His research interests include optoacoustic and ultrasound imaging, guided ultrasonic wave propagation in bone, and ultrasound neuromodulation.

Main Talk:

Acoustic Levitation Methods for Suspending and Manipulating Objects in Mid-Air
Acoustic levitation uses the acoustic radiation force to counteract gravity and suspend objects in the air medium. In this talk, different acoustic levitation approaches will be presented, including the use of standing waves for levitating objects much smaller than the acoustic wavelength, the inverted near-field acoustic levitation method, far-field acoustic levitation method, and the use of single beams generated by arrays of low power transducers. We will also present potential applications, including the manipulation of fragile objects and the contactless manipulation of multiple liquid drops as a tool for liquid processing of small volumes of liquids.

Marco A. B. Andrade
Marco A. B. Andrade is a lecturer at the Institute of Physics of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, and his main research interest is to develop new strategies to levitate and manipulate objects with sound. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics from the Institute of Physics, University of São Paulo, Brazil in 2004, and M.S. and D.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from Polytechnic School, the University of São Paulo in 2006 and 2010, respectively.  

Moderator:
Dr. Karen Volke-Sepúlveda

Dr. Karen Volke-Sepúlveda got her Ph.D. in Optics in 2003 and she is currently an Associate Professor at the Institute of Physics of the National Autonomous Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). There she established the Optical Micromanipulation Laboratory in 2004, which nowadays has an active research group with two main researchers, postdoctoral fellows, and students of different levels. She lectures at the Faculty of Sciences and in the Physical Sciences Postgraduate Program at UNAM. Her main research topics include optical and acoustical trapping, topological and dynamical properties of structured wavefields, analogies among different wave systems, and nonlinear optical phenomena in colloidal media. Dr. Volke-Sepúlveda has been awarded several recognitions for her research, among them the European Optics Prize 2003 for a paper in which she is the first author. 

Webinar 1

23 June 2022 at 3 PM EDT (UTC -4:00)

Short Early Career Talk (10 Minutes): 
Pulsed photoacoustics: a powerful non-invasive and non-contact ultrasonic technique for agroindustry applications

David Alejandro Collazos-Burbano
Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia

Main Talk (30 Minutes): 
Recent advances in skeletal muscle elastography in the LAU

Nicolás Benech
Physics Institute of the Science School, Universidad de la República (UdelaR) in Montevideo, Uruguay

Q&A Sesssion (10 Minutes):
Moderator: Stefan Catheline

View on YouTube

Short Early Career Talk: 

Pulsed photoacoustics: a powerful non-invasive and non-contact ultrasonic technique for agroindustry applications
Pulsed photoacoustics is a technique which allows for the generation of acoustic waves at ultrasonic frequencies in several materials. It has a huge potential for agroindustry applications, e.g. remote sensing, non-contact and non-destructive characterization, massive data generation and IoT compatibility, among others. This talk presents how this technique can be used to extract elastic properties of plant leaves and to obtain acoustic vegetal indices to determine the water content in the samples under study. The presentation will cover the setting of the experimental apparatus, the determination of the dispersive behavior of the medium and the corresponding extraction of the elastic properties of the samples. This talk will conclude with a discussion about the potential applications in plant hydraulics studies and the assessment of complex biological samples, e.g. plant phenotyping.

David Alejandro Collazos-Burbano
I was born in Dagua, Valle del Cauca, Colombia, in 1988. I received my B. Eng. degree in electronics engineering, and my M. Eng. from the Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia. Currently, I am a Ph.D. candidate at the same University. I had a Young Researcher fellowship from COLCIENCIAS, Colombia, in 2013. I took part in a youth stay of excellence at the Research Center in Optics (CIO), León, Guanajuato, Mexico, in 2016. Also, I received the best student paper award at the 2021 IEEE Latin America Ultrasonic Symposium (LAUS).

Since 2017 I have been a researcher at the Center for Bioinformatics and Photonics (CIBioFi), Cali, Colombia. Currently, I am working with guided and non-guided acoustic waves to extract elastic properties of plant leaves in a contactless way. My research interests include digital signal processing, air-coupled ultrasound, pulsed photoacoustics, ultrasound applications in agroindustry, and modeling of the interaction between acoustic waves and plant tissues.
 

Main Talk:

Recent advances in skeletal muscle elastography in the LAU 
In this talk, I will review the most recent work related to elastography applied to skeletal muscle, developed at the Laboratorio de Acústica Ultrasonora (LAU) in Montevideo, Uruguay. Elastography in muscles is challenging because of anisotropy and viscosity. The simplest case to deal with is the SH propagation mode where polarization of the shear wave (SW) is perpendicular to the fibers. For such mode, the shear wave velocity (SWV) depends on the angle between the propagation direction and the fibers’ direction. In US elastography, a push beam (PB) generates the SW and ultrafast imaging is used to track its propagation. The SW attenuates with distance due to diffraction and viscosity. We are working on a diffraction model for the PB, based on Green’s function for transversely isotropic solids, to discriminate those effects in the experimental data and be able to estimate the tissue viscosity. 

The SW can also be generated by using external sources. For superficial muscles, most parts of the energy propagate as a surface wave. Thus, the shear elasticity can be estimated if a relationship between the velocity of surface waves and the SWV can be established. This relationship depends on the geometry of the tissue but also on near-field effects. These effects generate a dispersion curve even in a semi-infinite solid and thus, must be considered to retrieve the SWV. I will show examples of the application of surface waves in beef samples (ex vivo) as well as in biceps branchii (in vivo).  

Finally, I will show the results of 3D shear elasticity imaging using an RCA probe and a Vantage Verasonics System, based in a passive elastography approach. We conducted experiments in a CIRS phantom and in the forearm muscles of a healthy volunteer. Results are encouraging but there are still some issues to be addressed.   

Nicolás Benech
Nicolás Benech is Professor at the Physics Institute of the Science School, Universidad de la República (UdelaR) in Montevideo, Uruguay. He teaches wave physics to undergraduate and graduate students, including Ph.D. His research interest areas include physical acoustics, wave propagation in soft solids, and ultrasound elastography. He holds one patent related to surface wave elastography applied in the beef industry.  Currently, he is the head of the physics area of the “Programa para el Desarrollo de las Ciencias Básicas, (PEDECIBA)”, a government program that funds researchers and graduate students in physics. 
 

Moderator:
Stefan Catheline 

Stefan Catheline received the Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies (M.Sc. degree) in physics and acoustics (1994), his PhD degree in physics (1998) from University of Paris VII (Denis Diderot) for his work on transient elastography and his “Habilitation de Recherche” in 2006. 
After a post doc at the University of California, San Diego, he become an assistant Professor at University of Paris VII in 1999 and joined the laboratory Ondes et Acoustique (now Institut Langevin) at the Ecole Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielle de la Ville de Paris (ESPCI). From 2005, he has been working for a two years mission at the University of Montevideo (Uruguay) and was assistant Professor at University of Grenoble at Isterre until 2012. He is now Director of research at INSERM unit 1032, in the Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound (LabTAU) directed by Cyril Lafon in Lyon. His current research activities at the head of the team “Ondes et instrumentation” include acoustic topics such as elastography, time reversal, seismology, reverberant cavities, nonlinear elasticity, tactile interface, source localization as well as HIFU. He holds 8 patents in the field of ultrasound and seismology and wrote more than 100 articles. He has been co-founder of two companies: Sensitive Object in the field of acoustic interactivity and SEISME in the field of elastography. He is a member of the technical program committee of the IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium.