Vesna Zderic

Vesna Zderic

Title:
Associate Professor
Office:
SEH 6670 | Office hours: T: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm; by appointment
Phone: 202-994-7593
Email:
zderic@gwu.edu
Website:

Professor Vesna Zderic’s Therapeutic Ultrasound Laboratory conducts modeling and experimental work in the area of ultrasound therapy.  Current projects include the application of ultrasound to enhance drug delivery through different biological barriers, studies of safety of therapeutic ultrasound application, and ultrasound application for functional modification of cells and tissues.

Current Research

Enhanced Ocular Drug Delivery
Our objective has been to determine combinations of ultrasound parameters that can provide optimal delivery of different drugs into the eye, study mechanisms of ultrasound action, and determine long-term safety of this application. We showed previously that exposing cornea to therapeutic ultrasound can lead to up to 10 times more delivery of a drug-mimicking compound into the eye, with only minimal alterations in the corneal structure. Subsequently, we continued to work on drug delivery problems with significant clinical relevance, such as promoting delivery of antibiotics and steroids for treatment of eye inflammations through an NIH funded project. This work indicated that ultrasound can be effective and safe for delivery of steroids into the eye in vivo. Current work focuses on modeling of temperature increases in the eye during ultrasound application, studies of the effectiveness of delivery of anti-parasitic drugs into the eye, and delivery of macromolecules via transscleral route for treatment of macular degeneration.  This work is expected to eventually lead to development of an inexpensive, quick and non-invasive ultrasound method that can be applied in an outpatient clinic to allow targeted delivery of medications into diseased eye tissues for treatment of different diseases including infections and retinopathies.

Stimulation of Insulin Release from Pancreatic Beta Cells
Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a complex metabolic disease that has reached epidemic proportions. Pharmacological management routinely requires complex therapy with multiple medications, and loses its effectiveness over time. Thus, new modes of therapy are needed that will target directly the underlying causes of abnormal glucose metabolism. The objective of our study, funded by NIH, is to explore a novel, non-pharmacological approach that utilizes the application of ultrasound energy to safely augment insulin release from pancreatic beta cells as a potential novel treatment for type 2 diabetes.

Nail Drug Delivery
It is estimated that up to 32 million Americans are suffering from onychomycosis. This is a fungal nail disorder that is characterized by thick and yellow nails, can be extremely painful, and has also been documented to lead to many psychosocial issues. In onychomycosis, the fungus lives in the nail bed. Although there are several good antifungal drugs available for treatment, most are applied to the top of the nail and since the nail has poor permeability they do not reach the nail bed reliably and, therefore, are not very effective in treating the fungus. We have been working on the application of low intensity ultrasound to promote permeability of antifungal drugs into the nail. Our preliminary tests indicated that ultrasound increases permeability of the nail by 50% for a drug mimicking compound. In our current work, we are planning to use antifungal nail polish that is prescribed to patients suffering from onychomycosis and see the effectiveness of combining it with ultrasound excitation in order to improve permeation.  People who would benefit the most from this treatment are those in their 60s or older, particularly those who suffer from diabetes, poor circulation, immunosuppressive diseases, or have cancer that is being treated with radiation.

Education

  • B.S., University of Belgrade, Serbia, 1998
  • Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle, WA, 2004
  • Postdoctoral fellowship, National Space Biomedical Research Institute, 2006

Publications

From the last five years

  • Suarez Castellanos I, Jeremic A, Zderic V. Therapeutic Ultrasound for Stimulation of Pancreatic Beta Cells. Under review in Ultrasound Med Biol.
  • Hariharan P, Nabili M, Guan A, Zderic V, Myers M. A Porous-Medium Model of Ultrasound-Enhanced Drug Delivery. Under review in Ultrasound Med Biol.
  • Suarez Castellanos I, Balteanu B, Singh T, Zderic V. Therapeutic Modulation of Calcium Dynamics using Ultrasound and Other Energy-based Techniques, To be published in IEEE Reviews in Biomedical Engineering.
  • Nabili M, Geist S, Zderic V. Thermal Safety of Ultrasound-enhanced Ocular Drug Delivery: A Modeling Study. Med Phys 2015;42(10):5604-15.
  • Nabili M, Shenoy A, Chawla S, Mahesh S, Liu J, Geist S, Zderic V. Ultrasound-enhanced Ocular Delivery of Dexamathasone Sodium Phosphate: An In Vivo Study. J of Therapeutic Ultrasound, March 2014;2:6.
  • Ejofodomi OA, Zderic V, Zara J. Development of Novel Imaging Probe for Optical/Acoustic Radiation Imaging (OARI). Med Phys 2013; 40:111910.
  • Nabili M, Patel H, Mahesh S, Liu J, Geist S, Zderic V. Ultrasound-enhanced Drug Delivery of Antibiotics and Anti-inflammatory Drugs into the Eye.  Ultrasound Med Biol 2013;39(4):638-46.
  • Wang S, Shin IS, Hancock H, Jang BS, Kim HS, Lee SM, Zderic V, Frenkel V, Pastan I, Paik CH, Dreher MR. Pulsed High Intensity Focused Ultrasound Increases Penetration and Therapeutic Efficacy of Monoclonal Antibodies in Murine Xenograft Tumors. J Control Release 2012;162(1):218-24.
  • Wang S, Mahesh S, Liu J, Geist C, Zderic V. Focused Ultrasound Facilitated Thermo-chemotherapy for Targeted Retinoblastoma Treatment: A Modeling Study. Exp Eye Res 2012;100:17-25.
  • Wahab R, Choi M, Liu Y, Krauthamer V, Zderic V, Myers M. Mechanical Bioeffects of Pulsed High Intensity Focused Ultrasound on a Simple Neural Model. Med Phys 2012;39(7):4274-83.
  • Giridhar D, Robinson R, Liu Y, Sliwa J, Zderic V, Myers M. Quantitative Estimation of Ultrasound Beam Intensities Using Infrared Thermography - Experimental Validation. J Acoust Soc Am 2012;131(6):4283-91.
  • Abadi D, Zderic V. Ultrasound-mediated Nail Drug Delivery System. J Ultrasound Med 2011;30(12):1723-30.
  • Wang S, Frenkel V, Zderic V. Optimization of Pulsed Focused Ultrasound Exposures for Hyperthermia Applications. J Acoust Soc Am 2011;130(1):599-609.
  • Luo W, Hosseini H, Zderic V, Mann F, O’Keefe G, Vaezy S.  Detection and Localization of Peripheral Vascular Bleeding Using Doppler Ultrasound.  J Emerg Med 2011;41(1):64-73.
  • Wang S, Zderic V, Frenkel V. Extracorporeal, Low-Energy Focused Ultrasound for Noninvasive and Nondestructive Targeted Hyperthermia. Future Oncol 2010;6(9):1497-511.
  • Ejofodomi O, Zderic V, Zara JM.  Tissue-mimicking Bladder Wall Phantoms for Evaluating Acoustic Radiation Force – Optical Coherence Elastography Systems.  Med Phys 2010;37(4):1440-1448.
  • Zderic V, Vaezy S.  Acoustic Hemostasis.  In Therapeutic Ultrasound: Mechanisms to Applications.  Pages 113-136.  Edited by Victor Frenkel.  Nova Science Publishers, Hauppauge, New York, October 2010.

Patents

  • Patent # 7,670,291. Vaezy S, Held RT, Sikdar S, Managuli R, Zderic V. Interference-Free Ultrasound Imaging During HIFU Therapy, Using Software Tools. Awarded on March 2nd, 2010.
  • Patent # 8,414,494. Vaezy S, Yu J, Zderic V. Thin-profile Therapeutic Ultrasound Applicators. Awarded on April 9th, 2013.
  • Patent # 8,611,189. Vaezy S, Nguyen TN, Zderic V, Foley JL. Acoustic Coupler using an Independent Water Pillow with Circulation for Cooling a Transducer. Awarded on December 17th, 2013.
  • Patent Application. Bergen T, Friend A, Sofianos A, Manuccia T, Zderic V. Ultrasound Detection System for Shoe Explosive. Filed in February of 2013.
  • Provisional Patent Application. Horelik B, Kattan D, March S, Perlow J, Zderic V. Mobile Ophthalmic Ultrasound Device. Filed in February of 2013.
  • Provisional Patent Application. Surface Acoustic Wave based Flexible Periocular Implant for Sustained Drug Delivery into the Eye. Li Z, Mahesh S, Zaghloul M, Zderic V. Filed in January of 2016.
  • Patent Application. Zderic V, Suarez Castellanos IM, Jeremic A. Ultrasound Stimulation of Pancreatic Beta Cells. Filed in February of 2016.

Distinctions

  • 11/14 – present  Reviewer for NIH Radiation Therapeutic and Biology (RTB) study section
  • 02/14 Elevation to the grade of IEEE Senior member
  • 11/14 – present  Awards nomination chair for IEEE EMBS Technical Committee
  • 08/10 – present Reviewer for NIH Small Business Medical Imaging Study Section
  • 09/06 – present  Reviewer for Ultrasound Med Biol, Ultrasonics, Medical Physics, J of Hyperthermia, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on UFFC, etc.
  • 03/11 – 05/12 Associate Editor for IEEE EMBC conferences

Recent Extramural Grant Support

07/01/2014-06/30/2016  NIH/NIBIB R03 grant   PI: Zderic V      
Title: Ultrasound Stimulation of Pancreatic Beta Cells
Total funds: $152,500
The main goals of this proposal are to determine the effectiveness and safety of application of unfocused ultrasound at physiotherapy levels (applied in continuous mode) for stimulation of insulin release from pancreatic beta cells.

09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012   NIH/NEI R21 grant  PI: Zderic V.
Title: Ultrasound-Enhanced Ocular Drug Delivery.
Total funds: $371,049.
The main objectives were to determine ultrasound mechanisms, efficacy, and long-term safety of ultrasound application in promoting ocular drug delivery.

Editorial Board Service

  • 11/14 – present  Reviewer for NIH Radiation Therapeutic and Biology (RTB) study section
  • 02/14 Elevation to the grade of IEEE Senior member
  • 11/14 – present  Awards nomination chair for IEEE EMBS Technical Committee
  • 08/10 – present Reviewer for NIH Small Business Medical Imaging Study Section
  • 09/06 – present  Reviewer for Ultrasound Med Biol, Ultrasonics, Medical Physics, J of Hyperthermia, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on UFFC, etc.
  • 03/11 – 05/12 Associate Editor for IEEE EMBC conferences