Bio


I am a postdoctoral research fellow at Stanford School of Medicine in the Department of Radiology. My primary research focus is in the development of cutting-edge technological innovations for imaging and noninvasive targeted drug delivery based on ultrasound. I strive to implement tools with high potential for clinical translation and aim at producing a substantial impact on the clinical practice.

At the moment, I am working on the systematic and noninvasive manipulation of the nervous system by using focused ultrasound combined with ultrasound-activated drug carriers. In addition, I am implementing functional imaging of brain-wide neuronal activity based on power Doppler ultrasound as a readout of the neuromodulation.

Honors & Awards


  • School of Medicine Dean's Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University (2019)
  • New Investigator Award for Basic Science, American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (2017)

Professional Education


  • PhD, Technical University of Denmark, Biomedical Engineering (2017)
  • MSc, University of Bologna, Electronic Engineering (2014)
  • BSc, University of Bologna, Electronic Engineering (2011)

Stanford Advisors


Patents


  • Tommaso Di Ianni, Martin Hemmsen, Jørgen Arendt Jensen. "United States Patent US 2018/0059229 A1 Vector Velocity Estimation Using Transverse Oscillation (TO) and Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming (SASB)", BK Medical AS, Mar 1, 2018

All Publications


  • Deep-fUS: A deep learning platform for functional ultrasound imaging of the brain using sparse data. IEEE transactions on medical imaging Di Ianni, T., Airan, R. D. 2022; PP

    Abstract

    Functional ultrasound (fUS) is a rapidly emerging modality that enables whole-brain imaging of neural activity in awake and mobile rodents. To achieve sufficient blood flow sensitivity in the brain microvasculature, fUS relies on long ultrasound data acquisitions at high frame rates, posing high demands on the sampling and processing hardware. Here we develop an image reconstruction method based on deep learning that significantly reduces the amount of data necessary while retaining imaging performance. We trained convolutional neural networks to learn the power Doppler reconstruction function from sparse sequences of ultrasound data with compression factors of up to 95%. High-quality images from in vivo acquisitions in rats were used for training and performance evaluation. We demonstrate that time series of power Doppler images can be reconstructed with sufficient accuracy to detect the small changes in cerebral blood volume (~10%) characteristic of task-evoked cortical activation, even though the network was not formally trained to reconstruct such image series. The proposed platform may facilitate the development of this neuroimaging modality in any setting where dedicated hardware is not available or in clinical scanners.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TMI.2022.3148728

    View details for PubMedID 35108201

  • Focused Ultrasound for Noninvasive, Focal Pharmacologic Neurointervention. Frontiers in neuroscience Wang, J. B., Di Ianni, T. n., Vyas, D. B., Huang, Z. n., Park, S. n., Hosseini-Nassab, N. n., Aryal, M. n., Airan, R. D. 2020; 14: 675

    Abstract

    A long-standing goal of translational neuroscience is the ability to noninvasively deliver therapeutic agents to specific brain regions with high spatiotemporal resolution. Focused ultrasound (FUS) is an emerging technology that can noninvasively deliver energy up the order of 1 kW/cm2 with millimeter and millisecond resolution to any point in the human brain with Food and Drug Administration-approved hardware. Although FUS is clinically utilized primarily for focal ablation in conditions such as essential tremor, recent breakthroughs have enabled the use of FUS for drug delivery at lower intensities (i.e., tens of watts per square centimeter) without ablation of the tissue. In this review, we present strategies for image-guided FUS-mediated pharmacologic neurointerventions. First, we discuss blood-brain barrier opening to deliver therapeutic agents of a variety of sizes to the central nervous system. We then describe the use of ultrasound-sensitive nanoparticles to noninvasively deliver small molecules to millimeter-sized structures including superficial cortical regions and deep gray matter regions within the brain without the need for blood-brain barrier opening. We also consider the safety and potential complications of these techniques, with attention to temporal acuity. Finally, we close with a discussion of different methods for mapping the ultrasound field within the brain and describe future avenues of research in ultrasound-targeted drug therapies.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fnins.2020.00675

    View details for PubMedID 32760238

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7372945

  • Ultrasound/microbubble-mediated targeted delivery of anticancer microRNA-loaded nanoparticles to deep tissues in pigs. Journal of controlled release : official journal of the Controlled Release Society Di Ianni, T., Bose, R. J., Sukumar, U. K., Bachawal, S., Wang, H., Telichko, A., Herickhoff, C., Robinson, E., Baker, S., Vilches-Moure, J. G., Felt, S. A., Gambhir, S. S., Paulmurugan, R., Dahl, J. D. 2019

    Abstract

    In this study, we designed and validated a platform for ultrasound and microbubble-mediated delivery of FDA-approved pegylated poly lactic-co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles loaded with anticancer microRNAs (miRNAs) to deep tissues in a pig model. Small RNAs have been shown to reprogram tumor cells and sensitize them to clinically used chemotherapy. To overcome their short intravascular circulation half-life and achieve controlled and sustained release into tumor cells, anticancer miRNAs need to be encapsulated into nanocarriers. Focused ultrasound combined with gas-filled microbubbles provides a noninvasive way to improve the permeability of tumor vasculature and increase the delivery efficiency of drug-loaded particles. A single handheld, curvilinear ultrasound array was used in this study for image-guided therapy with clinical-grade SonoVue contrast agent. First, we validated the platform on phantoms to optimize the microbubble cavitation dose based on acoustic parameters, including peak negative pressure, pulse length, and pulse repetition frequency. We then tested the system in vivo by delivering PLGA nanoparticles co-loaded with antisense-miRNA-21 and antisense-miRNA-10b to pig liver and kidney. Enhanced miRNA delivery was observed (1.9- to 3.7-fold increase) as a result of the ultrasound treatment compared to untreated control regions. Additionally, we used highly fluorescent semiconducting polymer nanoparticles to visually assess nanoparticle extravasation. Fluorescent microscopy suggested the presence of nanoparticles in the extravascular compartment. Hematoxylin and eosin staining of treated tissues did not reveal tissue damage. The results presented in this manuscript suggest that the proposed platform may be used to safely and noninvasively enhance the delivery of miRNA-loaded nanoparticles to target regions in deep organs in large animal models.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jconrel.2019.07.024

    View details for PubMedID 31326463

  • Portable Vector Flow Imaging Compared With Spectral Doppler Ultrasonography. IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control Di Ianni, T. n., Hansen, K. L., Villagomez Hoyos, C. A., Moshavegh, R. n., Nielsen, M. B., Jensen, J. A. 2019; 66 (3): 453–62

    Abstract

    In this study, a vector flow imaging (VFI) method developed for a portable ultrasound scanner was used for estimating peak velocity values and variation in beam-to-flow angle over the cardiac cycle in vivo on healthy volunteers. Peak-systolic velocity (PSV), end-diastolic velocity (EDV), and resistive index (RI) measured with VFI were compared to spectral Doppler ultrasonography (SDU). Seventeen healthy volunteers were scanned on the left and right common carotid arteries (CCAs). The standard deviation (SD) of VFI measurements averaged over the cardiac cycle was 7.3% for the magnitude and 3.84° for the angle. Bland-Altman plots showed a positive bias for the PSV measured with SDU (mean difference: 0.31 ms -1 ), and Pearson correlation analysis showed a highly significant correlation ( r = 0.6 ; ). A slightly positive bias was found for EDV and RI measured with SDU (mean difference: 0.08 ms -1 and -0.01 ms -1 , respectively). However, the correlation was low and not significant. The beam-to-flow angle was estimated over the systolic part of the cardiac cycle, and its variations were for all measurements larger than the precision of the angle estimation. The range spanned deviations from -25.2° (-6.0 SD) to 23.7° (4.2 SD) with an average deviation from -15.2° to 9.7°. This can significantly affect PSV values measured by SDU as the beam-to-flow angle is not constant and not aligned with the vessel surface. The study demonstrates that the proposed VFI method can be used in vivo for the measurement of PSV in the CCAs, and that angle variations across the cardiac cycle can lead to significant errors in SDU velocity estimates.

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2018.2872508

    View details for PubMedID 30281442

  • A Vector Flow Imaging Method for Portable Ultrasound Using Synthetic Aperture Sequential Beamforming IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Di Ianni, T., Villagómez Hoyos, C. A., Ewertsen, C., Kjeldsen, T. K., Mosegaard, J., Nielsen, M. B., Jensen, J. A. 2017; 64 (11): 1655 - 1665
  • System-Level Design of an Integrated Receiver Front End for a Wireless Ultrasound Probe IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Di Ianni, T., Hemmsen, M. C., Muntal, P. L., Jørgensen, I. H., Jensen, J. A. 2016; 63 (11): 1935 - 1946
  • Compressive sensing of full wave field data for structural health monitoring applications IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Di Ianni, T., De Marchi, L., Perelli, A., Marzani, A. 2015; 62 (7): 1373 - 1383
  • Model-based compressive sensing for damage localization in lamb wave inspection IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control Perelli, A., Di Ianni, T., Marzani, A., De Marchi, L., Masetti, G. 2013; 60 (10): 2089 - 2097

    View details for DOI 10.1109/TUFFC.2013.2799