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The Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound, currently the INSERM Unit U1032, includes researchers specialized in biomedical technology, acoustics and ultrasonics. The scientific objectives of the laboratory essentially deal with the domains of ultrasound (US) physics, and US therapy specifically focused on the domain of cancerology. For 25 years, the objectives of joining diagnostic and therapeutic approaches by ultrasound, and developing new increasingly specific and localized cancer therapies have been carry on by two charismatic INSERM directors.


Under the direction of Dominique Cathignol, the Unit 281 "Research on Treatment of Cell Proliferation by Physical Agents", from 1985 to 2000focused its research on the detection and treatment of cell proliferation by physical agents, with a particular emphasis on the physical methods used and their interaction on biological media. During this time, several successful technology transfers took place, resulting in patented and commercialized medical equipment, such as the Sonolith® and Ablatherm® devices by EDAP Technomed and the HemoSonic™ monitoring system by Arrow® International.


Dominique Cathignol

In January 2001, our unit was reorganized slightly and renamed. INSERM Unit 281, Research on Treatment of Cell Proliferation by Physical Agents, became Unit 556, Research on Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound. The reorganization was due, in part, to the success of our previous research and to the need to formulate more advanced goals for our work.

Unit 556, under the direction of Jean-Yves Chapelon, comprises essentially the same researchers, personnel, and equipment as that of the former unit, with the addition of specialists in ultrasound and optimization. Staff expertise remains strong in the areas of ultrasound, light, and bioelectric impedance. The research objective, however, has changed slightly to reflect a somewhat more sophisticated goal: to develop effective, non-invasive applications of ultrasound therapies for the benefit of patients and industry.


Jean-Yves Chapelon

In January 2011, the unit was reorganized after AERES evaluation and renamed U1032 or LabTAU for Laboratory of TherapeuticApplications of Ultrasound. Under the direction of Jean-Yves Chapelon, the new unit project will allow complementarity, synergy and potentiation in order to provide significant scientific breakthroughs, such as a deepen knowledge of the interaction of ultrasound waves with biological tissues, to better understand at the microscopic level the effects induced by ultrasound, to develop and apply new methods of mini-invasive therapy using ultrasound, and finally to innovate in order to transfer these new developments to the clinic and industry.