Medical device for the non-invasive treatment of tumors using shear waves and LIFU ultrasounds

  • Universidad de Granada
  • From Spain
  • Responsive
  • Patents for licensing

Summary of the technology

A portable medical device allows cancer stem cells treatment by shear waves and low frequency ultrasound (LIFU) application. Its skin adhesion enables the focused shear waves transmission to a target region, thus affecting the behavior of these tumor cells. In this way, it pretends to be a support for classical tumor therapy.

Details of the Technology Offer

In recent years, the search for new tumor treatments has been oriented towards new therapies and devices that offer less invasive characteristics. Following this premise, the use of ultrasound-based medical devices to combat localized cancer is increasingly being promoted.

Currently, HIFU devices (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) developed are used for heat ablation and tumor resection, some of which are already commercially available as a treatment for certain types of cancer. On the other hand, LIFU devices (Low Intensify Focused Ultrasound) are used for various types of therapy at an experimental level (not at a clinical level): (i) sonodynamics; (ii) improve the delivery of chemotherapeutic agents to a solid tumor; (iii) sonoporation; (iv) improve gene delivery or transfection, and (v) generate antivascular actions through tissue heating. However, such bio-effects can lead to additional healthy tissue damage.

For solving this limitation, a new device has been patented to impact the cellular behavior of cancer stem cells (CSCs) through the application of shear waves and ultrasound. In this case, the effects generated are not attributed to thermal action, thus avoiding the affectation of nearby tissues, but possibly directly altering the CSC phenotype by mechanotransduction, promoting O2 and nutrient permeability, and sonoporation. These waves impact directly on the CSCs and cause a change in their phenotype by inducing their cellular differentiation via mechanotransduction. In this way, the CSCs are prevented from entering a resting state that allows them to avoid treatment, escape the tumor and initiate a metastatic process. Unlike the devices mentioned above, this one favors the CSCs elimination, which are the cells responsible for tumor development, resistance, metastasis, and tumor recurrence.

This portable device adheres to the patient's surface and transmits, in a localized way to the target tumor region, shear waves and ultrasound with a controllable frequency to cancer cells.

Likewise, the software is also proposed with executable instructions and a method to treat tumor cells that, together with the medical device, offer a disruptive solution to those already on the market.


  • Less destruction of proximal healthy tissue.Since the effects resulting from the application of ultrasound are not mainly attributable to thermal action or non-specific cellular response, the generation of possible damage in healthy tissues close to the tumor is avoided.
  • Changes in the phenotype of CSCs.The applied ultrasound impacts by mechanotransduction on the subpopulation of cancer stem cells of the tumor, inducing certain phenotypic changes that favor tumor therapy.
  • Support for regular chemotherapy.The differentiation of CSCs induced by ultrasound helps to sensitize them against the chemotherapeutic used to fight the tumor and face the treatment.
  • Reduction of the possibility of tumor resistance, recurrence, and metastasis.This technology, thanks to the cellular differentiation of CSCs and the entry into the cell cycle, stimulates the exit of the quiescent state of these, thus preventing tumor evasion and the initiation of the metastatic process.
  • Removal of the CSCs subpopulation from the tumor.The device makes it possible to control the frequency of the ultrasound applied to cause the death of cancer stem cells, which are mainly responsible for tumor development, resistance, metastasis and recurrence.
  • Useful for treating tumors in greater depth.Ultrasound transmission is not only effective for the treatment of superficial tumors, but it is also feasible for deeper lesions such as liver, pancreatic, bladder, kidney tumors…

Current development status

Laboratory prototypes


Treating tumors in greater depth

Desired business relationship

Patent licensing

Intellectual property status

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :EP20382752.2

  • Patent already applied for
  • Patent application number :PCT/EP2021/072706

Attached documents

Related Keywords

  • Cytology, Cancerology, Oncology
  • Medical/health
  • Ultrasound imaging
  • Medical equipment
  • cancer
  • medical device
  • mechanotransduction
  • shear waves
  • ultrasounds
  • lifu
  • tumoral therapy
  • cancer stem cells (csc)
  • low frequency ultrasound

About Universidad de Granada

Granada University is one of the most important universities of Spain. The main goal is to transfer technology that our research groups, more than 500, are developing to the industries and companies which are able to take profit from them. It is a general University so Research and Development are offered in different fields like Health Science and Technology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics, Environment and Natural Resources, Biotechnology, Information and Communication Technologies, Social, Economic and Legal Sciences....

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