Navigation Links
High definition diagnostic ultrasonics on the nanoscale
Date:8/16/2010

Scientists and Engineers at The University of Nottingham have built the world's smallest ultrasonic transducers capable of generating and detecting ultrasound.

These revolutionary transducers which are orders of magnitude smaller than current systems are so tiny that up to 500 of the smallest ones could be placed across the width of one human hair.

While at an early stage these devices offer a myriad of possibilities for imaging and measuring at scales a thousand times smaller than conventional ultrasonics. They can be made so small they could be placed inside cells to perform intracellular ultrasonics. They can produce ultrasound of such a high frequency that its wavelength is smaller than that of visible light. Theoretically they make it possible for ultrasonic images to take finer pictures than the most powerful optical microscopes.

The work, by the Applied Optics Group in the Division of Electrical Systems and Optics has been deemed so potentially innovative that last year it was awarded a 850,000 five year Platform Grant by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to develop advanced ultrasonic techniques. The team has also been supported by additional funding of 350,000 from an EPSRC grant to underpin aerospace research.

Matt Clark, of the Applied Optics Group, said: "With the rise of nanotechnology you need more powerful diagnostic tools, especially ones that can operate non-destructively and ones which can be used to access the mechanical and chemical properties of the samples at this scale. These new transducers are hugely exciting and bring the power of ultrasonics to the nanoscale."

The ultrasonic transducers consist of sandwich or shell like structures carefully engineered to possess both optical and ultrasonic resonances. When they are hit by a pulse of laser light they are set ringing at high frequency which launches ultrasonic waves into the sample. When they are excited by ultrasound the transducers are very slightly deformed and this changes their optical resonances which are detected by a laser.

The devices can be constructed either by micro/nano lithography techniques similar to those used for microchips or by molecular self assembly where the transducers are constructed chemically.

Perhaps the most familiar application of ultrasonics is medical imaging but it is also widely used in engineering applications and for chemical sensing. These tiny transducers open up the possibility of using these techniques on the smallest scales, for instance inside cells and on nano-engineered components.

Dr Clark said: "Imagine imaging inside cells in the same way that ultrasonic imaging is performed inside bodies. Theoretically we could get higher resolution with the nano-ultrasonics than you can with optical microscopes and the contrast would be very interesting. In addition the transducers can be made into highly sensitive chemical sensors ultrasonics SAW sensors are used on the normal scale for electronic noses this would allow you to distribute chemical sensors in tissue or in paint so you could make paint with chemical sensors to detect corrosion or explosives in it."


'/>"/>

Contact: Lindsay Brooke
lindsay.brooke@nottingham.ac.uk
44-115-951-5751
University of Nottingham
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology technology :

1. The European HEALTHGRAIN consortium developed a definition for whole grain
2. Reportlinker Adds China In Vitro Diagnostics Market Outlook to 2016
3. Aeterna Zentaris Announces Collaboration with Almac to Develop Therapy and Companion Diagnostic in Cancer
4. Reportlinker Adds Molecular Diagnostics Market: DNA Probes and Biochips -- New Product Development Opportunities and Business Expansion Strategies for Instrument and Reagent Suppliers
5. QIAGEN and Roche Settle Dispute Over Distribution Agreement for TheraScreen Companion Diagnostics
6. Abviva Announces Further Patent Issuance for Technology Used in Breast Cancer Diagnostics and Therapeutics
7. BIO 2010: German Molecular Diagnostics Segment Posting Double-Digit Growth
8. Life Sciences Company Sword Diagnostics Moves Operations to Chicago
9. Ambry Genetics Launches First X-Linked Mental Retardation Diagnostics Using Next Generation Sequencing
10. Norgen Biotek Transitions into Diagnostics with the Launch of over 30 New Kits for Nucleic Acid-Based Diagnostics
11. Longhorn Vaccines & Diagnostics LLC Receives FDA Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for the First 2009 H1N1 Influenza Assay to Include a Molecular Transport Medium (MTM)
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/24/2016)... ... May 24, 2016 , ... Last week, Callan Capital, an integrated wealth management ... The Future of San Diego Life Science event at the Estancia La Jolla Resort ... the event with speakers Dr. Rich Heyman, former CEO of Aragon and Seragon, and ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH), ... Board of Directors has approved the payment of a quarterly ... The cash dividend of $0.24 per share ... stockholders of record as of the close of business on ... approval of the Board of Directors and may be adjusted ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... May 23, 2016 , ... Foresight Institute , ... the winners for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. , These prestigious ... categories, one for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. Prof. Markus ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... ... May 20, 2016 , ... Korean researchers say Manumycin A ... offer a new way to treat the disease. Surviving Mesothelioma has just posted an ... Scientists from several Korean institutions based their mesothelioma study on the fact the Manumycin ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:5/12/2016)... , May 12, 2016 WearablesResearch.com ... just published the overview results from the Q1 wave ... the recent wave was consumers, receptivity to a program ... data with a health insurance company. "We ... to share," says Michael LaColla , CEO of ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Infosys ... (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung SDS, a global ... that will provide end customers with a more secure, fast ...      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ) , ... but it also plays a fundamental part in enabling and ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... , April 27, 2016 ... "Global Multi-modal Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their ... , The analysts forecast the global ... of 15.49% during the period 2016-2020.  ... of sectors such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):