Novel Cranial Implants of Yttria-Stabilized Zirconia as Acoustic Windows for Ultrasonic Brain Therapy. Academic Article uri icon


  • Therapeutic ultrasound can induce changes in tissues by means of thermal and nonthermal effects. It is proposed for treatment of some brain pathologies such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's diseases, and cancer. However, cranium highly absorbs ultrasound reducing transmission efficiency. There are clinical applications of transcranial focused ultrasound and implantable ultrasound transducers proposed to address this problem. In this paper, biocompatible materials are proposed for replacing part of the cranium (cranial implants) based on low porosity polycrystalline 8 mol% yttria-stabilized-zirconia (8YSZ) ceramics as acoustic windows for brain therapy. In order to assess the viability of 8YSZ implants to effectively transmit ultrasound, various 8YSZ ceramics with different porosity are tested; their acoustic properties are measured; and the results are validated using finite element models simulating wave propagation to brain tissue through 8YSZ windows. The ultrasound attenuation is found to be linearly dependent on ceramics' porosity. Results for the nearly pore-free case indicate that 8YSZ is highly effective in transmitting ultrasound, with overall maximum transmission efficiency of 81%, compared to near total absorption of cranial bone. These results suggest that 8YSZ polycrystals could be suitable acoustic windows for ultrasound brain therapy at 1 MHz.

published proceedings

  • Adv Healthc Mater

altmetric score

  • 145.164

author list (cited authors)

  • Gutierrez, M. I., Penilla, E. H., Leija, L., Vera, A., Garay, J. E., & Aguilar, G.

citation count

  • 20

complete list of authors

  • Gutierrez, Mario I||Penilla, Elias H||Leija, Lorenzo||Vera, Arturo||Garay, Javier E||Aguilar, Guillermo

publication date

  • January 2017