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Title:
WAVEFORM ENERGY INFLUENCE OF OBJECTS USING FEEDBACK CONTROL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2016/182736
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A control system for delivering energy waveform radiation to influence in vivo tissue is described. For the system, the energy waveform radiation is generated by a radiation unit and is directed along a pathway to the tissue and a registration unit is provided to identify a start place relative to the in vivo tissue. Also, a monitor is provided to compare the start place with a base reference to measure an error signal between the start place and base reference. With this measured error signal, a controller operates the radiation unit using input from the monitor to effectively attain and maintain a zero error signal. More specifically, the controller can provide operational parameter inputs to the radiation unit for configuring the waveform radiation including a radiation frequency, f, and a volume intensity level, v, for the radiation and an exposure time interval, ti.

Inventors:
GRANT ROBERT EDWARD (US)
CASE MATTHEW T (US)
MIRZAI TODD (US)
Application Number:
PCT/US2016/029506
Publication Date:
November 17, 2016
Filing Date:
April 27, 2016
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
STRATHSPEY CROWN HOLDINGS LLC (US)
International Classes:
A61N7/00; A61N7/02
Domestic Patent References:
WO2006083703A22006-08-10
Foreign References:
US20130023715A12013-01-24
US20070123780A12007-05-31
CA2879996A12014-01-30
US20080212737A12008-09-04
US20050261570A12005-11-24
US7792249B22010-09-07
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
NYDEGGER, Neil K. (Suite 275San Diego, California, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A control system for delivering energy waveform radiation onto in vivo tissue, to influence the tissue, the system comprising:

a radiation unit for generating the energy waveform radiation, and for directing the radiation along a pathway determined by the radiation unit;

a registration unit for identifying a start place relative to the in vivo tissue;

a monitor to compare the start place with a base reference to measure an error signal therebetween; and

a controller connected with the radiation unit, to operate the radiation unit using input from the monitor to effectively attain and maintain a zero error signal.

2. A system as recited in claim 1 further comprising a computer for coordinating respective operations of the radiation unit, the monitor, and the controller.

3. A system as recited in claim 1 further comprising a parabolic speaker affixed to the radiation unit to project a focused beam of radiation along the pathway. 4. A system as recited in claim 3 further comprising an imaging unit for creating an image of the in vivo tissue to be radiated, and wherein the registration unit identifies a start place relative to the in vivo tissue in the image and the monitor is connected with the imaging unit to compare the start place with the base reference to measure an error signal therebetween.

5. A system as recited in claim 4 wherein the imaging unit is selected from the group of devices for providing imaging technologies consisting of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), Positron Emission Tomography (PET), and Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT).

6. A system as recited in claim 4 wherein the base reference is a target point identified on the image of the in vivo tissue, and the start place is a point where the focused beam pathway intercepts the in vivo tissue.

7. A system as recited in claim 6 wherein the target point is periodically repositioned on the image of the in vivo tissue.

8. A system as recited in claim 6 wherein the target tissue is moved in a pattern relative to the in vivo tissue in accordance with a selected protocol.

9. A system as recited in claim 2 wherein the base reference is a predefined phenotype for the in vivo tissue and the start place is a cellular structure of the in vivo tissue.

10. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein the energy waveform radiation is sound waves, including infrasound waves and ultrasound waves.

1 1. A system as recited in claim 1 wherein the radiation unit provides operational parameter inputs for configuring the waveform radiation including a radiation frequency, f, a volume intensity level, v, for the radiation and an exposure time interval,

12. A method for delivering energy waveform radiation onto in vivo tissue, to influence the tissue, the method comprising the steps of:

generating the energy waveform radiation and directing the radiation along a pathway;

identifying a start place relative to the in vivo tissue; comparing the start place with a base reference to measure an error signal therebetween; and

adjusting the energy waveform radiation using input from the monitor to effectively attain and maintain a zero error signal. 13. A method as recited in claim 12 wherein the step of generating the energy waveform radiation and directing the radiation along a pathway is accomplished using a parabolic speaker affixed to a radiation unit to project a focused beam of radiation along the pathway.

14. A method as recited in claim 12 further comprising the step of creating an image of the in vivo tissue to be radiated, and wherein the identifying step identifies a start place relative to the in vivo tissue in the image, and wherein the comparing step compares the start place with the base reference within an image to measure an error signal therebetween.

15. A method as recited in claim 14 wherein the base reference is a target point identified on the image of the in vivo tissue, and the start place is a point where the focused beam pathway intercepts the in vivo tissue.

16. A method as recited in claim 12 wherein the base reference is a predefined phenotype for the in vivo tissue and the start place is a cellular structure of the in vivo tissue.

17. Non-transitory computer-readable medium having executable instructions stored thereon that direct a computer system to perform a process of delivering energy waveform radiation onto in vivo tissue to influence the tissue that comprises: generating the energy waveform radiation and directing the radiation along a pathway; identifying a start place relative to the in vivo tissue; comparing the start place with a base reference to measure an error signal therebetween; and adjusting the energy waveform radiation using input from the monitor to effectively attain and maintain a zero error signal. 18. The non-transitory computer-readable medium as recited in claim 17 wherein the process further comprises creating an image of the in vivo tissue to be radiated, and wherein the process identifies a start place relative to the in vivo tissue in the image, and compares the start place with the base reference within an image to measure an error signal therebetween. 19. The non-transitory computer-readable medium as recited in claim 18 wherein the base reference is a target point identified on the image of the in vivo tissue, and the start place is a point where the focused beam pathway intercepts the in vivo tissue.

20. The non-transitory computer-readable medium as recited in claim 17 wherein the base reference is a predefined phenotype for the in vivo tissue and the start place is a cellular structure of the in vivo tissue.

Description:
WAVEFORM ENERGY INFLUENCE OF OBJECTS

USING FEEDBACK CONTROL

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention pertains generally to systems and methods for influencing objects using waveform energy. More particularly, the present invention pertains to systems and methods for influencing cellular structures to morph or transition into a target value or condition, by applying waveform energy to the structures. The present invention is particularly, but not exclusively, useful for influencing objects by applying waveform energy to them while controlling the process using a feedback control system.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION Feedback can be used to make adjustments to one or more system inputs, to thereby drive a system output toward a target value or condition. In this process, information output by the system is used to determine the appropriate system input adjustments. In some instances, an ability to understand the relationship between output information and one or more input adjustments can allow a process to be developed that achieves results that are otherwise unobtainable using uncontrolled or so-called "open-loop" type systems.

One process in which feedback can be advantageously used involves the exposure of tissue to waveform energy. In this regard, it is known that exposing tissue to waveform energy can cause permanent changes to the tissue. In particular, it has been recognized that sonic waves and other electromagnetic waves can be employed to cause transformative or morphological changes in cellular structure. Not surprisingly, many of these changes may be very beneficial. Thus, within the medical community there is increasing interest insofar as the extent to which such changes may be employed to beneficially alter the functionality of a cellular structure. From a mechanical perspective, each individual cellular structure (tissue cell) has a natural frequency at which it will oscillate (i.e. vibrate) when subjected to an external force. Another consequence of this natural frequency is that cellular structures will respond to periodically applied external forces having certain frequencies, such as the natural frequency, quite differently than they will respond to external forces having other applied frequencies.

From a biological perspective, each cell type (e.g. a liver cell) will have observable characteristics which naturally result from the cell's environment. A set of these observable characteristics is generally referred to as a phenotype. Further, it is known that the set of characteristics for a defined phenotype of a cellular structure can be epigenetically influenced by externally applied forces. Moreover, this can happen regardless of whether the cellular structure is influenced in vivo or in vitro.

In light of the above, it is an object of the present invention to provide efficient systems and methods for influencing cellular structures when waveform energy is applied to the structures. It is another object of the present invention to provide a system and method for directing waveform energy to an object which utilizes closed-loop feedback control to obtain an improved interaction between the waveform energy and the object. It is yet another object of the present invention to apply waveform energy to tissue under feedback control to epigenetically influence tissue cells, and to thereby alter the functionality of an in vivo, or an in vitro, target tissue. Yet another object of the present invention is to provide a system and method for waveform energy influence of objects using feedback control which is easy to use and commercially cost effective.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In accordance with the present invention, a control system for delivering energy waveform radiation to influence in vivo tissue includes a radiation unit. In particular, the energy waveform radiation that is generated by the radiation unit is directed along a beam pathway toward the tissue. For the present invention, a registration unit is provided to identify a start place relative to the in vivo tissue, to establish where the radiation is to be directed.

A monitor is provided for the control system to compare the start place vis a vis a base reference. This is done by measuring an error signal between the start place and the base reference. With this error signal measured by the monitor, a controller in the system operates the radiation unit to effectively attain and maintain a zero error signal. More specifically, the controller can adjust the beam pathway and/or provide operational parameter inputs to the radiation unit for configuring the waveform radiation. For example, these operational parameter inputs can include a radiation frequency, f, a volume intensity level for the radiation, v, and an exposure time interval, When pulsed radiation is employed, an additional operational parameter can be input to the radiation unit, namely, the pulse duration, td, can be specified by the controller. In some implementations, a computer is used for coordinating respective operations of the radiation unit, the monitor, and the controller.

In a first embodiment of the present invention, the control system includes an imaging unit for creating an image of the in vivo tissue to be radiated. For example, the imaging unit can be an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging unit, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) imaging unit, a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging unit or a Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) imaging unit. For this embodiment, the registration unit identifies a start place relative to the in vivo tissue in the image. For instance, the start place can be a point where a focused beam of the energy waveform radiation intercepts the in vivo tissue. In the event, the monitor is connected with the imaging unit to compare the start place with the base reference, such as a target point identified on the image of the in vivo tissue. The distance between the start place and base reference is then measured and used as an error signal to control the operational parameters of the radiation unit. In one implementation, the target point is periodically repositioned on the image of the in vivo tissue. In some cases, the target tissue is moved in a pattern relative to the in vivo tissue in accordance with a selected protocol.

In another embodiment of the present invention, the base reference is a predefined phenotype for the in vivo tissue, and the start place is a cellular structure of the in vivo tissue. For this embodiment, the monitor can be an appropriate sensor for obtaining a set of observable characteristics of the tissue to determine the required phenotype. Alternatively, this monitoring function can be performed by the periodic performance of a biopsy. In the event, management and control of the protocol by the computer is terminated when the phenotypic response corresponds with the desired phenotype.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The novel features of this invention, as well as the invention itself, both as to its structure and its operation, will be best understood from the accompanying drawings, taken in conjunction with the accompanying description, in which similar reference characters refer to similar parts, and in which:

Fig. 1 is a schematic of the combination of interactive components for a system in accordance with the present invention;

Fig. 2 is a functional presentation of components for closed-loop control of a radiation unit in the system of the present invention;

Fig. 3A is a schematic of a portion of a system in accordance with the present invention illustrating a start point and a target point (baseline reference);

Fig. 3B is a schematic of a transformative or morphological change in the target tissue during an operation of the present invention; and

Fig. 4 is an operational flowchart showing an implementation in accordance with the present invention. DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

In accordance with the present invention, a control system 10 for delivering an energy waveform radiation 1 1 to influence in vivo tissue 12 includes a radiation unit 14. As shown, the energy waveform radiation 1 1 is generated by the radiation unit 14 and is directed along a pathway 16 to the tissue 12. Fig. 1 also shows that the radiation unit 14 will be positioned at a distance, d, from the target tissue 12. Typically, the distance d will be greater than about 10 millimeters (d > 10 mm).

For the system 10 shown in Fig. 1 , the energy waveform radiation 1 1 may be focused or unfocused and may be pulsed or continuous. The radiation 1 1 can be directed onto exposed tissue 12 to influence the exposed tissue 12, or the radiation 1 1 can be directed to pass through surface tissue to a subsurface location for the purpose of influencing tissue 12 located below the surface. As contemplated for the present invention, both soft tissues and hard tissues may be influenced using the systems and methods described herein.

As envisioned for the present invention, the radiation 1 1 to be employed for influencing target tissue 12 may be of any waveform energy known in the art. It may be radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum. For many instances, however, the radiation will be between wavelengths of 10-25 m to 103 m. It may also be periodic mechanical vibrations. In this latter case, the radiation 1 1 may be acoustic sound waves in the range between 20 Hz and 20 kHz, and may also include infrasound waves (< 20 Hz) and ultrasound waves (> 20 kHz). Further, the tone of the radiation 1 1 may be either pure (single frequency) or complex (multi-frequency).

Fig. 1 shows that the radiation unit 14 receives operational parameters 18 as an input. These operational parameters 18 can include a radiation frequency, f, a volume intensity level for the radiation, v, and an exposure time interval, ti. When pulsed radiation 1 1 is employed, an additional operational parameter 18 can be input to the radiation unit 14, namely, the pulse duration, td, can be specified by the controller 28.

Continuing now with reference to Fig. 1 , it can be seen for the present invention that a registration unit 20 is provided which receives an image of the tissue 12 that is generated by an imaging unit 22. One purpose here is to identify a start place 30 relative to the in vivo tissue 12 (see Fig. 2). The registration unit 20 then outputs the start place 30 to a monitor 24. In this operation, the imaging unit 22 can be an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging unit, a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) imaging unit, a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging unit or a Computerized Axial Tomography (CAT) imaging unit.

During an operation of the system 10, it is to be appreciated that the energy waveform radiation 1 1 which is generated by the radiation unit 14 will be controlled by a computer 34. As envisioned for the present invention, this control will be accomplished using closed-loop feedback control techniques. In overview, Fig. 2 depicts the functional aspects of a control circuit 19 for such an operation.

With reference to Fig. 2 it will be seen that several different considerations contribute to the identification of an appropriate input 25 for the circuit 19 and its closed-loop control of the system 10. As indicated in Fig. 2, a selected combination of these considerations will determine values for the operational parameters 18 (f, v, and ti) that are necessary for the radiation unit 14 to generate an effective energy waveform radiation 1 1. Depending on the particular protocol 40 that is to be followed, the input 25 will also include the determination of a start place 30 and a base reference 26. Further, a sensor 31 needs to be employed to provide the necessary feedback information for closed-loop feedback control. The particular type of sensor 31 that is required will essentially depend on the operational requirements of the protocol 40 that is to be followed. In turn, all of this depends on the objective(s) to be gained by an operation of the system 10.

For one embodiment of the present invention, the objective(s) of protocol 40 may be to improve the vitality, or alter the functionality of the target tissue 12. This will likely include a proper identification, and an accurate location, of the target tissue 12 for treatment. In this case, the input 25 will necessarily include information regarding the start place 30 (e.g. location), to where the waveform energy radiation 1 1 is to be directed. It may also need to include a base reference 26 for accurately and appropriately maintaining the start place 30' (see Fig. 3A). For this purpose, the sensor 31 will most likely be an imaging unit 22 of a type as disclosed above.

For another embodiment of the present invention, the objective of protocol 40 may be to morph an undifferentiated target tissue 12 (e.g. target tissue 12a in Fig. 3B) into a desired phenotype 33 (e.g. target tissue 12d in Fig. 3B). More specifically, Fig. 3B shows a sequence of morphed target tissues 12 during such a transformation (Note: the target tissues 12a, 12b, 12c, and 12d shown here are only exemplary). Moreover, for this example, as part of this sequence radiation 1 1 a is influencing target tissue 12a. Similarly, radiation 1 1 c is shown influencing target tissue 12c. In a procedure such as this, the input 25 will necessarily include information of the desired phenotype

33 (i.e. target tissue 12d) that is to be created during the procedure. To do this, an accurate description of the desired phenotype 33 is necessarily used as the base reference 26. As envisioned for this embodiment of the present invention, the sensor 31 may well be a sequence of biopsy procedures which are periodically performed to titrate the target tissue 12.

In accordance with a protocol 40 for either of the above embodiments, closed-loop feedback control is provided by first establishing the necessary input 25 for an operation of the radiation unit 14. Specifically, this input 25 (e.g. f, v, ti, start place 30 and base reference 26) is provided to the computer

34 for controlling and operating the radiation unit 14. It is in accordance with the input 25 that the radiation unit 14 is activated to generate the waveform energy radiation 1 1. During the protocol 40, sensor 31 records the influence of this radiation 1 1 on the target tissue 12. Then, based on the progress of this influence, a feedback signal 27 is generated which is forwarded to the summing point 32. At the summing point 32, the feedback signal 27 is added to the input 25 to thereby generate an error signal that will appropriately adjust the operation of radiation unit 14 to maintain its operational efficacy.

In further detail, and by referring back to Fig. 1 , it can be seen that the controller 28 of computer 34 receives an operational protocol 40 together with other operational information from the monitor 24. With these inputs, the controller 28 operates the radiation unit 14. More specifically, the controller 28 can adjust the beam pathway 16 and/or modify the operational parameter inputs 18 to the radiation unit 14 for configuring the waveform radiation 1 1 . Suitable protocols for influencing tissue to obtain a selected tissue response can be found in co-pending, co-owned U.S. Patent Application No. 14/488, 101 , filed September 16, 2014 and titled "System and Method for Sonic Radiation for Influencing Cellular Structures," the entire contents of which are hereby incorporated by reference herein.

As implied above with reference to Fig. 3A, an embodiment of the present invention which requires directional control over the waveform energy radiation 1 1 will preferably include a parabolic speaker 42 which is affixed to the radiation unit 14'. Specifically, speaker 42 can be employed to project a focused beam of the radiation 1 1 in the form of acoustic sound waves to the tissue 12'. As shown in Fig. 3A, the radiation 1 1 is directed to a focal spot at the start place 30' in the tissue 12'. The monitor 24 (see Fig. 1 ) compares information regarding the start place 30' (focal spot), as received from the imaging unit 22, with the base reference 26' (i.e. a target point identified on the image of the in vivo tissue). The distance, D, shown in Fig. 3A between the start place 30' and base reference 26' is then measured as an error signal and used by the controller 28 to adjust the radiation unit 14', and for directional control of the radiation 1 1. In one implementation, the base reference 26' (i.e. target point) is periodically repositioned on the image of the in vivo tissue 12'. In some cases, the base reference 26' (i.e. target tissue) is moved in a pattern relative to the in vivo tissue 12' in accordance with a selected protocol (e.g. protocol 40 shown in Fig. 1 ).

Fig. 4 illustrates a procedure 44 for influencing in vivo tissue 12 using feedback control. As shown, the procedure 44 begins by identifying a base reference 26 (block 46) for the in vivo tissue. For the present methods, this base reference 26 is either a start place 30 on the target tissue 12 or a predefined phenotype 33 for the in vivo tissue. For example, the objective of the procedure 44 may be the creation of a particular type of stem cell (e.g. liver cell depicted as target tissue 12d in Fig. 3B) from an otherwise undefined or undifferentiated cell (e.g. target tissue 12a in Fig. 3B). In this case, the desired phenotype 33 (outcome) will be defined to have the requisite characteristics of the particular type stem cell that is desired (e.g. liver cell). As another example, the objective of a protocol 40 may be to terminate the viability of a cellular structure, such as by killing cancer cells. Still another example may be to assert directional control over the radiation unit 14' (see Fig. 3A).

With the base reference 26 identified, the next step is to adjust the operational parameters 18 (box 48) for the radiation unit 14, 14' (see Figs. 1 , 3A and 3B). As indicated above, the operational parameters 18 can include, but are not necessarily limited to, the radiation frequency, f, volume intensity level, v, for the radiation exposure time interval, t, and when pulsed radiation is employed, the pulse duration, td. Once the operational parameters 18 have been initialized, the next step is to generate the energy waveform radiation 1 1 (box 50) and direct it toward the targeted tissue 12 (box 52). After an initial exposure of the in vivo target tissue 12 to the radiation 1 1 , the next step is to identify a start place relative to the in vivo tissue 12 (box 54). For example, this can be performed by imaging the tissue 12 in situ, by using a sensor 31 (e.g. imaging unit 22), or by performing a biopsy on a portion of the tissue 12. Next, box 56 indicates that the start place 30 is compared with a base reference 26 to measure an error signal therebetween. If the error signal equals zero (i.e. if the predefined phenotype 33 has been achieved) (box 58) then the procedure is complete (box 60). Otherwise, as indicated by arrow 62, boxes 48, 50, 52, 54 and 56 are repeated. This process is repeated until the error signal is zero (box 58) and the predefined phenotype 33 has been achieved. While the particular embodiments and implementation of Waveform Energy Influence of Objects Using Feedback Control as herein shown and disclosed in detail is fully capable of obtaining the objects and providing the advantages herein before stated, it is to be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown other than as described in the appended claims.