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Home Industry News Optical ultrasound ‘could aid medical imaging and surgical procedures’

Optical ultrasound ‘could aid medical imaging and surgical procedures’

1st March 2016

A new real-time imaging technique known as optical ultrasound has demonstrated potential benefits in medical imaging and surgical applications.

Whereas current ultrasound scans are performed using expensive and bulky electronic transducers, the new probes generate and receive ultrasound waves using light, thanks to optical fibres coated in a micron-scale thick layer of an optically-absorbing material.

Pulsed laser light is then targeted at this coating, heating it up to generate an ultrasound wave that is propagated into the body and reflected by the patient's tissue.

These probes are compact enough to be integrated into devices such as needles and catheters, allowing detailed images from inside the body to be generated that can help guide surgical tools.

Study leader Dr Adrien Desjardins at University College London said: "By varying the location in the tissue in which the ultrasound wave is generated, signals can be acquired and processed to produce high-resolution pulse-echo ultrasound images in real time from within the body."

The research is being supported by money from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council's Healthcare Technologies Challenge Award scheme.ADNFCR-8000103-ID-801813758-ADNFCR

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