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posted by hubie on Wednesday August 03, @01:55AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the I-see-your-true-organs-shining-through dept.

New stamp-sized ultrasound adhesives produce clear images of heart, lungs, and other internal organs:

Ultrasound imaging is a safe and noninvasive window into the body's workings, providing clinicians with live images of a patient's internal organs. To capture these images, trained technicians manipulate ultrasound wands and probes to direct sound waves into the body. These waves reflect back out to produce high-resolution images of a patient's heart, lungs, and other deep organs.

Currently, ultrasound imaging requires bulky and specialized equipment available only in hospitals and doctor's offices. But a new design by MIT engineers might make the technology as wearable and accessible as buying Band-Aids at the pharmacy.

In a paper appearing today in Science, the engineers present the design for a new ultrasound sticker — a stamp-sized device that sticks to skin and can provide continuous ultrasound imaging of internal organs for 48 hours.

[...] If the devices can be made to operate wirelessly — a goal the team is currently working toward — the ultrasound stickers could be made into wearable imaging products that patients could take home from a doctor's office or even buy at a pharmacy.

"We envision a few patches adhered to different locations on the body, and the patches would communicate with your cellphone, where AI algorithms would analyze the images on demand," says the study's senior author, Xuanhe Zhao, professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at MIT. "We believe we've opened a new era of wearable imaging: With a few patches on your body, you could see your internal organs."

[...] "We imagine we could have a box of stickers, each designed to image a different location of the body," Zhao says. "We believe this represents a breakthrough in wearable devices and medical imaging."

Journal Reference:
Chonghe Wang, Xiaoyu Chen, Liu Wang, et al., Bioadhesive ultrasound for long-term continuous imaging of diverse organs, Science, 377, 2022. DOI: 10.1126/science.abo2542

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  • (Score: 3, Funny) by Runaway1956 on Wednesday August 03, @02:20AM

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 03, @02:20AM (#1264722) Homepage Journal

    You can put one on your chest, and go jogging while watching your heart working - only to be run over by the dump truck that you didn't notice because you were engrossed in the images of your heart!

    There is a supply side shortage of pronouns. You will take whatever you are offered.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @03:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @03:54AM (#1264728)

    Others have already made arrays of tiny ultrasound transducers in flexible substrates, so it would flex with the skin. Tfa notes that while these worked, the flexing changed the array dimensions enough that the images were blurry. Thus this new sensor is a hybrid:

    The MIT team’s new ultrasound sticker produces higher resolution images over a longer duration by pairing a stretchy adhesive layer with a rigid array of transducers. “This combination enables the device to conform to the skin while maintaining the relative location of transducers to generate clearer and more precise images.” Wang says.

    The device’s adhesive layer is made from two thin layers of elastomer that encapsulate a middle layer of solid hydrogel, a mostly water-based material that easily transmits sound waves. Unlike traditional ultrasound gels, the MIT team’s hydrogel is elastic and stretchy.

    “The elastomer prevents dehydration of hydrogel,” says Chen, an MIT postdoc. “Only when hydrogel is highly hydrated can acoustic waves penetrate effectively and give high-resolution imaging of internal organs.”

  • (Score: 2) by PiMuNu on Wednesday August 03, @07:28AM (1 child)

    by PiMuNu (3823) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday August 03, @07:28AM (#1264742)


    • (Score: -1, Spam) by bedworlddiscountcode on Wednesday August 03, @10:03AM

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @07:00PM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @07:00PM (#1264815)

    "Currently, ultrasound imaging requires bulky and specialized equipment available only in hospitals and doctor's offices."

    In the U.S. you can thank the FDA for this. They make it very difficult and expensive for just anyone to sell an ultrasonic imaging device despite the technology being pretty primitive. Probably to limit supply so that the FDA regulators can make back door deals with industry.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @07:17PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @07:17PM (#1264821)

      You have to consider that ultrasound tech has been around since the 60s, why are they still so expensive? It's very primitive tech by today's standards.

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @07:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 03, @07:24PM (#1264822)

      Here is an interesting thread discussing why ultrasound devices are still so expensive

                Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

              Why Are Ultrasound Machines So Expensive? (
              322 points by grahar64 on Dec 21, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 182 comments []

      One comment says, "We can make SDRs for incredibly low prices nowadays, the only real difference between that and ultrasound is the number of channels. The only reasons ultrasound machines cost more than 5 grand are economic inefficiencies. The engineering has been solid for a long while now."