Transcranial Ultrasound Brain Stimulation
Transcranial Ultrasound Stimulation (TUS) is a non-invasive neuromodulatory technique that uses focused ultrasound waves to target and influence specific areas of the brain. This method can temporarily enhance or inhibit neural activity, making it a promising tool for treating conditions like depression and chronic pain, as well as improving cognitive functions. 
It is safe and painless, offering a reversible and adjustable approach to brain stimulation.

Developing cutting-edge TUS capability

At Plymouth, we have developed one of the most advanced and comprehensive human brain stimulation labs in the world, led by Dr Elsa Fouragnan – a leading authority on brain stimulation research in the UK and recognised internationally.
By combining neuroimaging, neurostimulation, computational modelling and engineering, Dr Fouragnan and her team are pioneering TUS research which has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people. Our research confirms that TUS surpasses established brain stimulation methods by affording transient manipulation of neural activity, deep in the brain with unprecedented precision. 
Dr Fouragnan has extensively published in this area. Since 2020, their work has been cited more than 1,000 times.

International Transcranial Ultrasonic Stimulation Safety and Standards (ITRUSST)

Dr Fouragnan is an active member of ITRUSST, an international consortium safety group has established recommendations based on existing guidelines for diagnostic ultrasound from regulatory bodies such as the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the British Medical Ultrasound Society (BMUS) and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM).
Brain Stimulation Lab

In the news

Ultrasound technology being used in the transcranial ultrasound stimulation lab at the University of Plymouth Brain Research and Imaging Centre
Targeted ultrasound can change brain functions for up to an hour after intervention

Neuroscientists working in our Brain Research and Imaging Centre led a new study published in Nature Communications

12 September 2023

'Over the microscope': an interview with Dr Elsa Fouragnan

Dr Elsa Fouragnan explores the potential for ultrasound to create a significant shift in mental health treatments.
“People are talking a lot more about mental health conditions these days, but what if there was a way to use non-invasive technology to help people affected by them? I have seen the effects of addiction at very close quarters. Trying to prevent other people from having to go through anything like that is something that drives me.” 
Photograph of Dr Elsa Fouragnan

Brain Research & Imaging Centre (BRIC)
The Brain Stimulation Laboratory

BRIC’s vision is to translate human neuroscience into clinical applications with tangible societal impact through partnership with the NHS, particularly through Derriford Hospital, the largest in the South West. 
With seven cutting-edge human research laboratories, The Brain Stimulation Laboratory enables research that targets the causes of neurological disorders. The BRIC facility provides a state-of-the-art Siemens Prisma 3T MRI scanner, and within the Brain Stimulation laboratory, an ultrasound neurostimulation technique that is safe, non-invasive and localised (at the millimetre scale).