MIT researchers have developed a self-adhesive bandage that allows ultrasounds of organs to be performed for 48 hours. A small revolution that could be useful for controlling the evolution of a tumor, pregnancy, or for top athletes to avoid the consequences of overtraining.
Will replace expensive ultrasound materials
What researchers from the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States have accomplished is to make a high-resolution ultrasound by sticking a small self-adhesive bandage to the skin. Instead of lots of complex and expensive equipment, this patch can be worn by the patient for 48 hours and can take images of the functioning of organs during many activities.
For now, this process remains in the experimental phase, but the researchers were able to observe the effectiveness of the patch to take live, high-resolution images of major blood vessels and deeper organs such as the heart, lungs and stomach.
Specifically, the self-adhesive patch is approximately 2 centimeters in diameter and 3 millimeters thick. Between the two layers of adhesive and stretchable elastomer that adheres directly to the skin, there is a solid hydrogel that facilitates ultrasound transmission as it never dries out.
The device supports a solid array of converters that help create clearer and more accurate images, according to the researchers.
An ultrasound machine the size of a postage stamp
The patch, which can stay in place for at least 48 hours with its adhesive part, can collect changes in the organs thanks to its wireless transmission. During the tests, ultrasounds were performed while the volunteers were standing, sitting, or practicing running or cycling.
Deformation of organs or the effect of a position or an activity can therefore be studied. This is how the scientists were able to see in real time the temporary muscle movements that can be created when a volunteer lifts weights.
First image resource: MIT