New stamp-sized ultrasound sticker that can track your internal organs
The patches maintained a strong adhesion and recorded changes in the organs underneath as volunteers performed various activities, including sitting, standing, jogging and cycling.
Currently, ultrasound imaging requires cumbersome and specialized equipment only available in hospitals and doctors’ offices. But the new design, detailed in the magazine Sciencecould make technology as wearable and accessible as buying Band-Aids at the pharmacy.
“We envision several patches that stick to different locations on the body, and the patches will communicate with electricity,” said Xuanhe Zhao, professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at MIT. your mobile phone, where AI algorithms will analyze the image on demand.” .
“We believe we have ushered in a new era of wearable imaging: With a few patches on your body, you can see your internal organs.”
More, New ultrasound stickers produce higher resolution images for longer time by coupling a stretchy adhesive to a rigid probe array.
The device’s adhesive layer is made of two thin layers of elastomer encased in a solid hydrogel in the middle, a mostly water-based material that readily transmits sound waves.
The bottom elastic layer is designed to stick to the skin, while the top layer sticks to a rigid probe array that the team also designed and built. The entire ultrasonic sticker is about 2 square centimeters across and 3 mm thick – the size of a postage stamp.
From the image of the sticker, the team was able to observe changes in the diameter of major blood vessels when sitting and standing. The stickers also record details of deeper organs, such as how the heart changes shape as it works during exercise.
The researchers were also able to observe the stomachs swell, then contract as the volunteers drank, then flushed the juice out of their systems. And when some of the volunteers lifted weights, the team was able to detect bright patterns in the underlying muscles, signaling temporary micro-damage.
The team is working on making the stickers work wirelessly. They are also developing artificial intelligence-based software algorithms that can better interpret and diagnose stickers’ images.
“We imagined we could have a box of stickers, each designed to picture a different part of the body,” says Zhao. “We believe this represents a breakthrough in wearables and medical imaging.”