Navigation Links
Measuring ultrasound for better treatment of muscle injuries
Date:4/3/2013

A new tool developed at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK's National Measurement Institute, could help improve the quality of ultrasound treatment for soft tissue injuries such as muscle strains and ligament damage.

Ultrasound - high-frequency sound waves is used in physiotherapy to accelerate healing of tissue injuries. Ideally, the sound waves should be applied uniformly to the treatment site, but it is well-known that this does not happen in practice. This can affect quality of treatment and even cause damage.

NPL has developed a way to quickly map the intensity and distribution of ultrasound, allowing treatment heads to be used to administer the treatment more effectively. It will alert physiotherapists to sharp "hot-spots", allowing them to move the head to smooth the intensity or reject it where it could cause more harm than good. It also has potential for manufacturers, who could quickly test the effect that changes in design have on the intensity distribution.

During treatment, piezoelectric-based treatment heads convert electrical energy to mechanical energy, creating the vibrations needed to produce the ultrasound waves. These are transmitted into the target tissue with the aid of a thin layer of coupling gel.

The treatment heads actually vibrate in a complex pattern, in part due to the fact that they are highly resonant devices. This leads to variations in acoustic pressure and acoustic intensity over the area being treated, resulting in 'hot-spots', which can cause excessive heating and even damage to the tissue. Without carrying out the complex and time-consuming process of mapping the acoustic field, it is very difficult to tell exactly where the acoustic energy is going.

NPL scientists have come up with a solution to this problem by developing a simple tool to help visualise the distribution and intensity of the acoustic energy. The method works by using crystals that are thermochromic, meaning that they lose their colour when heated up above a specific trigger temperature. Importantly, the effect is reversible; the crystals regain their original colour on cooling.

The tool consists of two-layers. The bottom layer is made up of the thermochromic crystals embedded in a polyurethane rubber matrix which absorbs sound. The top layer is colourless and is used to trap the heat within the tile. The tile heat produced by the acoustic energy is quickly and evenly trapped, and the crystals turn white as they reach the trigger temperature. This then produces a pattern on the tile which represents the temperature distribution generated by the treatment head, which in turn relates to the spatial distribution of the acoustic intensity. The pattern can be clearly visible within seconds of exposure to the ultrasound.

Bajram Zeqiri, an NPL Science Fellow who led the project, describes how you would test an ultrasound treatment head with the tiles:

"In clinical practice the new 'imager' tiles would be used in much the same way you would treat a patient: by applying coupling gel to the treatment head, coupling it to the tile, switching on for typically 10 seconds, and then removing and observing the resulting image."

This means that the tiles can be used to quickly check for treatment head damage, asymmetric beam-patterns or 'hot-spots', and more simply to confirm whether the devices are actually working at all. The ability to gain relatively complex information from a simple and cost-effective device, in such a short period of time, should help improve the quality of physiotherapy ultrasound treatments.


'/>"/>

Contact: David Lewis
david@proofcommunication.com
07-890-678-102
National Physical Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Measuring mercury: Common test may overestimate exposure from dental amalgam fillings
2. A new method for measuring the flow of traffic a street has to bear by measuring atmospheric noise
3. New tool for measuring frozen gas in ocean floor sediments
4. New protocol recommendations for measuring soil organic carbon sequestration
5. Measuring the exertion of mini-basketball players
6. Measuring dispersal -- how well are soft-sediment invertebrate communities connected on the seafloor?
7. Bringing measuring accuracy to radical treatment
8. Measuring mercury levels: Nano-velcro detects water-borne toxic metals
9. Measuring progesterone receptor expression to improve hormone-receptor-positive cancer management
10. Measuring our carbon footprint
11. Oceanographers develop method for measuring the pace of life in deep sediments
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/19/2017)... 2017 The global military biometrics ... marked by the presence of several large global players. ... five major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS ... nearly 61% of the global military biometric market in ... global military biometrics market boast global presence, which has ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a ... report, Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on ... covers the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... ... Dr. Bob Harman, founder and CEO of VetStem Biopharma, Inc. ... event entitled “Stem Cells and Their Regenerative Powers,” was held on August 31st, ... was joined by two human doctors: Peter B. Hanson, M.D., Chief of Orthopedic Surgery, ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... ... 13 prestigious awards honoring scientists who have made outstanding contributions ... scheduled symposium during Pittcon 2018, the world’s leading conference and exposition for laboratory ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree ... products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their ... Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... , Oct. 6, 2017  The 2017 ... of three scientists, Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank ... developments in cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM) have ... within the structural biology community. The winners worked ... can now routinely produce highly resolved, three-dimensional images ...
Breaking Biology Technology: