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

, 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.


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

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