London, UK (May 27, 2010) When we think of ultrasound, it's usually imaging the inside of the body that springs to mind. However, while ultrasound imaging typically requires frequencies that are 50 to 2500 times higher than those human ear can detect, recent increasing evidence indicates that ultrasound at lower frequency can also be used to help certain body tissues to heal and regenerate. Now research that appears in Open Access Journal of Tissue Engineering published by SAGE-Hindawi suggests that ultrasound could also help tissue grafts to survive and thrive following surgery.
Ultrasound can improve cell viability, thanks to its ability to get molecules moving, and researchers have used it to increase blood flow to tissues in the process of healing and regenerating. In particular, low-intensity ultrasound (LIUS) has been used to help regenerate cartilage and bone, and in tissue engineering to stimulate cells.
Surgeons use a patient's own fatty tissue (adipose tissue) in procedures including facial plastic surgery, treating burn victims, breast reconstruction and surgery on the vocal cords. But how well these tissue grafts survive can vary, and the time period after the surgery before a blood supply is re-established is particularly critical. If the graft doesn't get sufficient oxygen and glucose, and clear away waste, the grafted tissue will wither and die.
An international research team, including researchers from MIT, the Center for Laryngeal Surgery and Voice Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston and Ben Gurion University in Beer-Sheva, Israel, set out to test whether ultrasound could improve the viability of grafted tissue during the post-op period.
The researchers used adipose cells cultured from tissue left over from tummy-tuck operations as well as mouse muscle cells (C2C12 cells) for their experiments. Over a six-day period, the test cells were treated with LIUS at 30mW/cm2 for short bu
|Contact: Mithu Lucraft|
SAGE Publications UK