December 4, 2023

Researchers on the College of California San Diego have developed a wearable ultrasound patch that’s meant to supply data 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 might be helpful in a big selection of medical eventualities, 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 units 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 scenario for every scan.

Wearable ultrasound is about to vary this, and we’ve lately lined a number of related units (see flashbacks under) that may carry out ultrasound imaging or drug supply on the go. This newest gadget can picture to a big depth (no less than for a tiny wearable patch) of 4 cm, permitting tissue monitoring in varied scientific eventualities.

“This new wave of wearable ultrasound know-how is driving a metamorphosis within the healthcare monitoring area, enhancing affected person outcomes, decreasing healthcare prices and selling the widespread adoption of point-of-care prognosis,” stated Yuxiang Ma, a researcher concerned within the examine. “As this know-how continues to develop, it’s doubtless that we are going to see much more important advances within the area of medical imaging and healthcare monitoring.”

The important thing attribute of the gadget is its skill to map the mechanical properties of underlying tissues. This has quite a few functions, as many medical circumstances can result in adjustments in tissue stiffness. These embrace tumor progress, muscle, tendon, and ligament accidents, liver cirrhosis and fibrosis, and adjustments in arterial wall stiffness resulting in myocardial ischemia. Constantly monitoring stiffness in these tissues may allow clinicians to evaluate illness development or remission with out requiring sufferers to attend a number of checkups in individual.  

“We invented a wearable gadget that may incessantly consider the stiffness of human tissue,” stated Hongjie Hu, one other researcher concerned within the mission. “Specifically, we built-in an array of ultrasound components right into a comfortable elastomer matrix and used wavy serpentine stretchable electrodes to attach these components, enabling the gadget to evolve to human pores and skin for serial evaluation of tissue stiffness.”

Examine 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

Through: UCSD