Port-wine stains (PWS) are not merely cosmetic concerns but congenital conditions characterized by an abnormal dilation of capillaries, impacting a small fraction of newborns. These marks often grow more pronounced and resistant to treatment as one ages, potentially leading to hypertrophic conditions. Beyond the physical manifestations, PWS significantly affects individuals’ social interactions and psychological well-being from a young age. Traditional treatments frequently fall short, particularly for deeper or more stubborn lesions.

Developing a new treatment approach for port-wine stains and similar vascular malformations was a collaborative effort led by Professor Xueding Wang and his team, including Mingyang Wang, Dr. Wei Zhang, Dr. Jeffrey Orringer, and Dr. Yannis Paulus from the University of Michigan, in collaboration with Rohit Singh from PhotoSonoX LLC and Dr. Xinmai Yang from the University of Kansas. This team introduced Photo-mediated Ultrasound Therapy (PUT), an innovative method that merges low-energy laser pulses with ultrasound bursts, offering a selective and minimally invasive option for patients, as detailed in the research published in JID Innovations.

The PUT system uniquely integrates a focused ultrasound (FUS) setup with a nanosecond pulsed laser source. The system ensures precise control over the treatment area. This precision is achieved through both spatial alignment and temporal synchronization of ultrasound bursts and laser pulses, enhancing the method’s treatment efficiency.

Highlighting the significance of PUT, Professor Wang described it as a “cavitation-based highly selective antivascular technique.” He noted, “The findings from this study demonstrate that PUT can efficiently and safely remove hypervascular dermal capillaries using laser fluence at a significantly lower level than that used in conventional laser treatment of vascular lesions, thus offering a safer alternative for clinical management.”

In addressing the minimized thermal effects compared to traditional PDL therapy, Professor Wang emphasized how PUT circumvents the limitations of laser-based treatments. Utilizing low laser fluence alongside ultrasound bursts, PUT significantly reduces unwanted thermal damage, marking it as a preferable alternative for treating vascular lesions.

Comprehensive histology and immunohistochemistry analyses were employed to confirm the selective damage to vascular tissues while preserving surrounding structures. The detailed examination of chicken wattle samples, stained with various markers, provided a clear evaluation of the treatment’s efficacy and specificity.

Professor Wang further explained, “Additional immunohistochemistry evaluations indicated the desired vascular damage induced by PUT treatment. Notably, the collagen within the treated area retained a structure and morphology similar to the untreated area, indicating no collateral damage.” This research marks a significant advancement in the clinical management of vascular skin disorders, opening new doors to more effective and safer treatment options for individuals afflicted with PWS and similar conditions. The collaborative efforts spearheaded by Professor Wang and his team promise an improved quality of life for many.


Mingyang Wang, Rohit Singh, Wei Zhang, Jeffrey S. Orringer, Yannis M. Paulus, Xinmai Yang, and Xueding Wang. “Cutaneous Hypervascularization Treatment Using Photo-Mediated Ultrasound Therapy.” JID Innovations, 2023.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.xjidi.2023.100237.