Navigation Links
SCAN: Delivering Bone Disorder Diagnosis, Fracture Healing

HOUSTON, Feb. 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The fight against bone disorders that affect millions of Americans will soon receive a boost from an ultrasound device being developed by space biomedical researchers. The technology under development will allow early prediction of bone disorders such as osteoporosis and guided acceleration of fracture healing.

National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) scientists are developing the technology to assist astronauts during long-duration spaceflights. Like the elderly on Earth, astronauts in space lose bone structure and quality.

Dr. Yi-Xian Qin, associate team leader for NSBRI's Smart Medical Systems and Technology Team, calls the new technology Scanning Confocal Acoustic Navigation (SCAN). He said the objective is to develop a small, mobile device that is easy to use and patient friendly.

"SCAN uses non-invasive and non-destructive ultrasound to image bone. It will allow us to identify weak regions, to make a diagnosis and to assist in healing fractures," said Qin, who is also the director of the Orthopedic Bioengineering Research Laboratory at Stony Brook University - State University of New York.

Stress-related fractures are a big concern for astronauts during long missions to the moon or in space. Qin said the fracture rate could be high on the moon due to workload force, heavy spacesuits and gravity that is one-sixth of Earth's.

The researchers are developing the new technology using scanning confocal acoustic diagnostic imaging for diagnosis and low-intensity pulsed ultrasound technology for treatment. Compared to current diagnostic ultrasound scanners, Qin's new technology is more advanced because of its ability to assess a higher number of parameters and is designed for imaging of hard tissue such as bone.

"Our new ultrasound technology can detect bone mineral density. In addition, we can assess bone quality, such as stiffness, and then predict the risk of fracture," Qin said. "Overall bone quality assessment, including strength and structure, is essential because the risk of fracture is probably more related to the quality of a bone rather than the density of a bone alone."

On Earth, X-ray machines are the standard tools of choice for monitoring bone health, but they are only used to detect bone mineral density. X-ray machines are not ideal for use in space due to the health risk radiation poses to astronauts, who are exposed to higher levels of radiation outside of Earth's protective atmosphere and magnetic field.

Qin is currently conducting clinical evaluations of the diagnostic part of the technology. The mobile device runs off of a laptop computer, and an image of the heel or wrist can be completed in about five minutes. Also under development is the capability to scan the knee and hip.

Meanwhile, the group is continuing development of the therapeutic portion of the technology. On Earth, it takes six weeks to heal a fracture in normal conditions. The healing process may take longer in space. He said the device will help accelerate fracture healing by stimulating bone regeneration.

Ultrasound has been used to heal fractures, but it has not been effective due to its lack of accuracy at the fracture site. This is where Qin's guided approach will be beneficial. "We are trying to use ultrasound technology as a way to get an image of the fracture site," Qin said. "An integrated probe will directly shoot ultrasound into the region of the fracture. We hope this will result in effective acceleration of fracture healing."

SCAN technology will be an ideal tool for health care providers on Earth who are dealing with an increasing elderly population and for those in rural areas where access to medical facilities is limited. In addition to being small and easier to use than X-ray based bone density measurement machines, the ultrasound device could be as much as 10-times cheaper to purchase and operate. "If we can provide a cost-effective, easy to operate machine at the doctor's office, then they can monitor patients at minimal cost," Qin said. "Also, it is non-invasive and non-destructive. People are not hesitant to get additional tests."

Qin's project is one of nine currently in the NSBRI Smart Medical Systems and Technology Team's portfolio devoted to developing new integrated medical systems to assist in delivering quality health care in space. Other areas being researched include space surgery and supporting techniques, routine risk and health-monitoring systems, and automated systems and devices to aid in decision-making, training and diagnosis. The new systems will have immediate benefits for health care on Earth.

NSBRI, funded by NASA, is a consortium of institutions studying the health risks related to long-duration spaceflight. The Institute's science, technology and education projects take place at more than 60 institutions across the United States.

Note: Release and photos are available at:

SOURCE National Space Biomedical Research Institute
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. SCAN: Delivering bone disorder diagnosis, fracture healing
2. Hopes, Predictions and Realities: Is Biomedical Research Delivering On Its Promises?
3. Thomson Healthcare Study Finds That Hospitals Delivering High-Quality Heart Care Are Efficient and Cost Effective, Too
4. Tri-State Hospital to Gain Greater Efficiency and Responsiveness in Delivering Patient Care with Siemens Open Communications Solutions
5. Medco Acquires Majority Interest in Europa Apotheek; Delivering Innovation, Clinical Quality and Lower-Cost Solutions to Fast-Growing German Health Care Market
6. Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association Delivering US$160,000 in Aid to Earthquake Survivors in China
7. AARP Protests Medicare Premium Increases, Delivering Over 20,000 Petitions to Senators Hutchison and Cornyn
8. Beverage Industry Continues Cutting Calories in Schools, Delivering on Its Commitment to Change Beverage Mix
9. PARI Respiratory Releases Results of Study Comparing Nebulizers Delivering Budesonide at CHEST 2008
10. International Medical Corps Continues Delivering Emergency Relief Amid Violence in Democratic Republic of Congo
11. International Medical Corps Continues Delivering Emergency Relief in Democratic Republic of Congo as Potential for Renewed Fighting Threatens to Deepen Crisis
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Young patients with a wide variety of dental needs can ... S. Lele, who are pediatric dentists in Tucson, AZ . Unlike traditional treatment ... system causes minimal discomfort and bleeding to the patient during treatment and the following ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... solutions for drugs, biologics, consumer health and global clinical supply services, today announced ... upcoming Clinical Trial Supply East Asia Conference, to be held at the InterContinental ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... 24, 2015 , ... It takes only three to five seconds to make ... the first impression be positive and reflects business values. If a client starts with ... want to return. They will also share their thoughts about a business with others, ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... advisory organization, is pleased to welcome Winter-Dent & Company as its newest Partner ... day one to become a client's most trusted advisor regardless of whether that ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... Serenity Point Rehabilitation, ... series of recent video interviews with some of the staff members at their recovery ... residential treatment facility, as well as some of the things that make their recovery ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... and BERN, Switzerland , November ... ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research of the University ... Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Clinical Nutrition of the ... start of an exclusive collaboration to develop a novel ... for the personalised delivery of insulin for diabetic patients ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... FLINT, Mich. , Nov. 24, 2015 Diplomat ... , Senior Vice President of Clinical Services, Education and Human ... (AIS) online webinar, "Oral Oncology Drugs: Health Plan Strategies for ... co-presenting with Beckie Fenrick , a consultant with the ... The webinar will ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 iRhythm Technologies, Inc. , ... care, today announced that it will participate in the 27th Annual ... New York, NY . Kevin King ... Tuesday December 1, 2015 at 8:50am ET. ... . --> . --> ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: