Therapeutic Ultrasound Now Pocket-Sized

A pocket-sized high-intensity therapeutic ultrasound has been built by a Cornell graduate student in biomedical engineering.


(Cornell ultrasound)

Devices today can weigh 30 pounds and cost $20,000; his is pocket-sized and built with $100. He envisions a world where therapeutic ultrasound machines are found in every hospital and medical research lab.

Lewis suggests that his technology could lead to such innovations as cell phone-size devices that military medics could carry to cauterize bleeding wounds, or dental machines to enable the body to instantly absorb locally injected anesthetic.

Lewis miniaturized the ultrasound device by increasing its efficiency. Traditional devices apply 500-volt signals across a transducer to convert the voltage to sound waves, but in the process, about half the energy is lost. In the laboratory, Lewis has devised a way to transfer 95 percent of the source energy to the transducer.

His new devices are currently being tested in a clinical setting at Weill Cornell Medical College.

It is lightweight, portable, and powered by a rechargeable battery. The portable therapeutic ultrasound unit has the potential to replace “plug-in” medical systems and rf amplifiers used in research. The system is capable of field service on its internal battery, making it especially useful for military, ambulatory, and remote medical application.

This advance may have sf fans thinking that Star Trek character Dr. McCoy's highly miniaturized instruments for healing may be on the way.


(Star Trek medical device)

From Cornell press release and Review of Scientific Instruments via MedGadget.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 12/31/2008)

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