MIT researchers have developed an ultrasound sticker about the size of a postage stamp. And when patients wear it, the sticker can provide real-time, high-resolution ultrasound imaging of their internal organs and blood vessels.
A recent study states that the wearable medical device can continuously image interior organs for 48 hours. They are small stickers that can be directly applied to the skin. And might be used as diagnostic and monitoring tools for several illnesses, including some malignancies, heart disorders, and problems associated with pregnancy.
MIT ultrasound sticker
MIT’s ultrasound sticker can help clinical staff view a patient’s internal organs in real-time. It’s a safe and non-invasive window into the workings of the human body. Trained technicians use ultrasound wands and probes to manipulate sound waves sent through the body to obtain these images. The patient’s heart, lungs, and other deep organs can be seen in high resolution because of the reflection of these waves.
Currently, ultrasound imaging requires heavy, specialized equipment only found in medical facilities and clinics. The technology may soon be as wearable and accessible as buying Band-Aids at the drugstore, thanks to the new design by MIT engineers.
“We imagine we could have a box of stickers, each designed to image a different location of the body,” Xuanhe Zhao, professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at MIT, said to MIT news.
The researchers put the stickers on participants to show off 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.
In the current design, the stickers must be connected to machinery that converts the reflected sound waves into images. As per the researchers, the stickers are ready for immediate applications. The engineers behind the stickers are developing wireless versions allowing patients to wear the gadgets while leaving the hospital or doctor’s office. Currently, the devices must be attached to transducers to produce clear images.
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