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Fralin Biomedical Research Institute to conduct focused ultrasound research

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 4:08 PM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - Building 4 at Riverside Circle, the Fralin Biomedical Research Institute’s new building, is home to a lot of cutting edge technology.

Soon, you’ll be able to add focused ultrasounds to the list of ongoing research projects.

“It’s kind of the dream of science fiction, in some ways, and science and medicine,” said Executive Director Michael Friedlander. “Can we do things to the living body without having to cut inside it?”

The non-invasive procedure directs ultrasonic rays to a pinpointed location inside the body.

It’s already being used to treat essential tremors, and researchers in Roanoke hope to expand its use to eliminate cancerous tumors with minimal recovery time.

“If you hit the right spot and do it with the right energy and in the right way, you can then, potentially, treat some disease where that bit of tissue is working improperly,” said Friedlander.

The institute will soon pair a focused ultrasound machine with a brand new MRI scanner inside the new building, making way for research to begin by early fall.

It’s all possible thanks to a $1.8M grant from the Edward & Della Thome Memorial Foundation.

“The really exciting thing is we’re starting with something that has already proved to be safe in effective in humans in certain clinical uses,” said Friedlander “It’s not like we’re starting with something that hasn’t been used in the human condition. I think that gives us a big advantage for developing some of these other approaches.”

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