General, Research, Technology

The device for laser non-contact ultrasound was first tested in humans

Surely each of us at least once in his life didUltrasound and knows what the setup looks like for this examination. Even the smallest devices, called "portable", are about the same size as CRT monitors from the mid-90s. And although this is not the most accurate way to study organs, it still remains one of the most popular, largely due to its cost compared to MRI. Scientists are constantly developing in this direction, and the other day they were even able to test an innovative ultrasound machine in humans.

Here such a beam can make an ultrasound no worse than a contact device

Why do ultrasound

Ultrasound is mainly used to create “images”human internal organs. Traditional ultrasound machines use devices with quartz crystals, passing through which an electric current causes them to vibrate and emit ultrasonic waves passing through human tissue. Reflecting differently from different organs, the waves come back, which is detected by the sensor. Changes are converted into an electrical impulse and projected on the screen in the form of a familiar image.

At the same time, ultrasound has big problems withaccuracy. The latter, in particular, depends on the force with which the doctor presses the device to the patient's body. Therefore, those who find a good ultrasound specialist go only to him - the human factor is very strongly expressed here.

By the way, in 2018, the most portable and cheapest ultrasound machine was developed.

What is contactless ultrasound?

Yes, to do an ultrasound, it’s not at all necessarysmear with a special liquid (well, almost) and feel how the doctor drives the sensor over a specific area of ​​the body. Non-contact ultrasound works in accordance with the photoacoustic method: in this case, the skin surface is illuminated by a laser beam, which excites vibrations in the tissues. Nevertheless, the receiver of this beam (piezoelectric sensor) is still fixed on the skin. Therefore, scientists have developed a completely non-contact ultrasound method.

For their development, researchers fromThe Massachusetts Institute of Technology used a model in which the laser is not only the causative agent of vibrations in human tissues, but also the receiver of the return signal. A laser emitting light with a wavelength of 1540 nanometers was used as a source. The receiver was a laser vibrometer with a wavelength of 1550 nanometers.

The essence of the method is that when the laser beamgets on skin, he periodically heats it, causing expansion. Because of this, ultrasonic vibrations appear, which propagate deep into the tissues, so that subsequently the resulting picture is displayed on the doctor’s monitor screen.

If you look closely, you can see the bone

Tests were done using fourvolunteers whose forearms projected laser beams. According to the results of the study, scientists obtained images of the forearm, which show not only the skin and muscles, but also the bone. Further, the results were compared with the data obtained using the classical method of ultrasound to verify the veracity of the testimony.

The most accurate ultrasound

Researchers believe that developed by themThe ultrasound method is one of the most accurate, since in this case the light almost does not penetrate deep into the tissue. Due to this, the beam is concentrated on the surface of the skin, which allows to increase the amplitude of ultrasound penetrating the body.

If you are interested in medical news, subscribe to our channel in Yandex.Zen. There you will find materials that have not been published on the site!

The first users of the device, of course,there will be doctors and paramedics with the necessary qualifications in the use of ultrasound. When such equipment appears in Russia, it is not clear - although human tests have been successful, it is necessary to certify the development in order to comply with international health standards.