Scientists Develop Adhesive That Could Enable Cellular Ultrasound

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed an adhesive capable of performing ultrasound. According to information from an article published by the scientific journal “Science”, published this Thursday, 28, the device works with adherence to the skin. Upon activation, the item provides clear images of the heart, lungs and other internal organs for 48 hours.

The patches were tested on volunteers and, according to the results presented in the article, the devices were proven to provide high resolution images of major blood vessels and deeper organs. In addition, the items also showed strong adherence and were also able to register changes in the volunteers’ organs as they performed activities such as sitting, standing and running.

The adhesive part of the device is made of two thin layers of elastomer, which have an intermediate band of solid hydrogel, a material that is mainly water-based and that easily transmits sound waves. According to the article, the elastomer prevents dehydration of the hydrogel. Only when the hydrogel is highly hydrated can acoustic waves effectively penetrate and provide high resolution images of internal organs.

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The devices can now be applied to patients in hospitals, similar to the patches used in cardiac monitoring electrocardiograms. With the invention, the presence of a technician is not required.

cell phone ultrasound

Currently, research is focused on adapting devices for wireless use. In this way, it will be possible to use the stickers at home, in addition, the purchase of materials could be carried out in pharmacies.

According to the researchers, the stickers would communicate with the cell phone, where Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms would analyze the images. “The wearable ultrasound imaging tool would have enormous potential in the future of clinical diagnostics. However, the resolution and imaging duration of existing patches are relatively low and cannot visualize deep organs,” the article explains.

In addition to the ultrasound-capable adhesive, scientists are also developing software algorithms based on Artificial Intelligence. The expectation is that the technology makes the interpretation and a better diagnosis with the images of this device.

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