Researchers at MIT create body-viewing ultrasound stickers

Date:1 August 2022 Author: Rienk De Beer

Clear views of the heart, lungs, and other internal organs are provided by new ultrasonic adhesives that are stamp-sized.

When doctors need real-time views of a patient’s internal organs, they frequently use ultrasound imaging because it provides a secure and non-invasive window into how the body functions. Trained technicians control ultrasound wands and probes to guide sound waves into the body in order to acquire these enlightening images. The heart, lungs, and other deep organs of a patient are imaged in high resolution using the waves that reflect back out.

Currently, ultrasound imaging requires heavy, specialized equipment that is only found in medical facilities and doctor’s offices. The technology might eventually become as wearable and widely available as buying Band-Aids at the drugstore thanks to a new design created by MIT engineers.

In a study that was published on July 28 in the journal Science, the engineers described the design for the new ultrasonic sticker. For 48 hours, the stamp-sized device adheres to the skin and can continuously image interior organs using ultrasound.

 

 

The researchers put the stickers on participants to demonstrate their invention. They demonstrated how the equipment provided real-time, high-definition images of the heart, lungs, stomach, and other deeper organs. The stickers retained a strong adherence and continued to record changes in underlying organs when the volunteers engaged in various activities, such as sitting, standing, jogging, and biking.

The stickers need to be attached to devices that convert the reflected sound waves into images in the current design. Even in their current state, the stickers may have immediate applications, said the researchers. The gadgets, which might be attached to hospital patients like heart-monitoring EKG stickers, may, for instance, continuously photograph interior organs without the need for a technician to hold a probe in place for extended periods of time.

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