Pioneering Ultrasonic Technique Can Detect Stress In Human Tissue

Researchers have developed a brand new ultrasound technique that may measure stress in human tissue for the primary time, probably revolutionizing illness analysis.

An ultrasound machine emits high-frequency sound waves into inside physique constructions and information the mirrored sound to create a picture in actual time. Ultrasound is cheaper, quicker and extra accessible than different imaging methods, equivalent to MRI. It can present abnormalities that may solely be seen with motion, for instance, illness of the shoulder joint.

Diagnostic ultrasound is used to find out whether or not tissues or organs are functioning correctly. Non-invasive diagnostic ultrasound can be utilized to look at the stomach, breasts, kidneys, pelvis, thyroid, muscle mass and bones, and blood stream. While ultrasound supplies worthwhile data for diagnosing and treating numerous illnesses and situations, it has limitations.

One is the shortcoming of ultrasound to measure the extent of stress in human tissue. This prompted researchers from the University of Sheffield, in collaboration with researchers from Harvard, Tsinghua University and the University of Galway, to develop a brand new ultrasound method that may distinguish between stiff tissue and tissue that’s underneath stress.

“When you go to the hospital, a health care provider could use an ultrasound machine to take a picture of an organ, equivalent to your liver, or one other a part of your physique, such because the intestines, to assist them study what’s inflicting the it is an issue. may very well be,” said Dr. Artur Gower, one of the study’s authors. “One of the constraints of ultrasound now utilized in healthcare is that the picture alone is just not sufficient to diagnose whether or not one in all your tissues is is irregular.”

Human tissues are able to sense and respond to mechanical stress, adjusting their shape accordingly. The forces of everyday muscle contractions add to that stress, meaning all living tissues are under mechanical stress, even when at rest. Mechanical stresses also affect artificial soft materials such as wearable and implantable soft bioelectronics.

Stress measurement in tissues and artificial soft materials is important for determining proper functioning, but it’s challenging to measure, so the researchers looked to the acoustoelastic effect for answers. Simply put, the acoustoelastic principle is this: the greater the voltage, the faster sound waves propagate.

Adapting a technique commonly used to measure tension along railroad tracks, the researchers sent two sound waves in different directions, relating the tension to the speed of the waves using a mathematical theory they developed.

Researchers used a particular type of wave called a shear wave, which is an elastic wave that can move through an object’s body, unlike a surface wave. Using shear waves, they were able to successfully measure stress, first in hydrogel and then in pig skeletal muscle.

It’s the first ultrasound method that can measure tension in any type of soft tissue, and the researchers are excited about its potential use.

“What we have finished in our analysis is develop a brand new approach to make use of ultrasound to measure the stress stage in tissue,” Gower said. “This stage of element can inform us if tissues are irregular or if they’ve been affected by scarring or illness. This method is the primary time ultrasound can be utilized to measure forces in tissue, and it might now be used to construct new ultrasound machines who’re capable of diagnose irregular tissue and illness earlier.

In addition to its potential in healthcare, the researchers consider the strategy will discover software in different disciplines, equivalent to biomedical engineering, biology and mushy matter physics.

The analysis has been revealed within the journal Scientific progress.

Source: University of Sheffield


Leave a Comment