Researchers on the College of California San Diego have developed a wearable ultrasound patch that’s meant to offer info on the stiffness of underlying tissues as deep as 4 cm under the floor of the pores and skin. The patch consists of a versatile 16 x 16 ultrasonic array with a silver-epoxy composite backing layer that’s designed to soak up extreme vibrations. It might present tissue stiffness information, which could possibly be helpful in a wide selection of medical situations, together with monitoring liver cirrhosis, most cancers development, sports activities accidents, and myocardial ischemia. The know-how is a part of a brand new wave of wearable ultrasound gadgets which might be set to permit steady ultrasound monitoring on the transfer.
Conventional ultrasound know-how has an extended historical past of use in medical monitoring, however often this requires a affected person to attend a clinic, sit with an expertise ultrasound technician, obtain the scan, after which ebook one other appointment for a follow-up scan a while later. The method is inconvenient and supplies just one snapshot in time of a scientific state of affairs for every scan.
Wearable ultrasound is ready to alter this, and now we have not too long ago coated a number of comparable gadgets (see flashbacks under) that may carry out ultrasound imaging or drug supply on the go. This newest machine can picture to a big depth (not less than for a tiny wearable patch) of 4 cm, permitting tissue monitoring in numerous scientific situations.
“This new wave of wearable ultrasound know-how is driving a metamorphosis within the healthcare monitoring area, bettering affected person outcomes, decreasing healthcare prices and selling the widespread adoption of point-of-care analysis,” stated Yuxiang Ma, a researcher concerned within the research. “As this know-how continues to develop, it’s doubtless that we are going to see much more vital advances within the area of medical imaging and healthcare monitoring.”
The important thing attribute of the machine is its capacity to map the mechanical properties of underlying tissues. This has quite a few functions, as many medical situations can result in modifications in tissue stiffness. These embody tumor development, muscle, tendon, and ligament accidents, liver cirrhosis and fibrosis, and modifications in arterial wall stiffness resulting in myocardial ischemia. Constantly monitoring stiffness in these tissues might allow clinicians to evaluate illness development or remission with out requiring sufferers to attend a number of checkups in particular person.
“We invented a wearable machine that may regularly consider the stiffness of human tissue,” stated Hongjie Hu, one other researcher concerned within the venture. “Particularly, we built-in an array of ultrasound components right into a mushy elastomer matrix and used wavy serpentine stretchable electrodes to attach these components, enabling the machine to evolve to human pores and skin for serial evaluation of tissue stiffness.”
Research in Nature Biomedical Engineering: Stretchable ultrasonic arrays for the three-dimensional mapping of the modulus of deep tissue
Flashbacks: Ultrasound Sticker for 48 Hours of Imaging; Tiny Patch for Cardiac Ultrasound Imaging; Automated Wearable Breast Ultrasound System: Interview with Maryam Ziaei, CEO of iSono Well being