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UC Researchers Develop Ultrasonic Array for Deep Tissue Monitoring

Engineers at the University of California San Diego have created a flexible ultrasonic array that enables non-invasive, three-dimensional imaging of tissues up to four centimeters beneath the human skin.

This stretchable array allows for detailed imaging with a spatial resolution of 0.5 millimeters. The newly developed elastography monitoring system offers an improved, non-invasive alternative to current methods, allowing for longer-term monitoring and enhanced depth of penetration.

This system enables serial, non-invasive, and three-dimensional mapping of mechanical properties in deep tissues, opening up numerous applications and possibilities:

  • The utilization of serial data on pathological tissues in medical research can offer valuable insights into the development and progression of diseases like cancer, where changes in tissue stiffness are often observed.
  • Additionally, monitoring the mechanical properties of muscles, tendons, and ligaments can aid in the diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries.
  • Continuous elastography has the potential to assess the impact and effectiveness of current treatments for liver and cardiovascular diseases, as well as certain chemotherapy agents, by evaluating tissue stiffness. This innovative approach may contribute to the development of novel treatment strategies.

Apart from its application in monitoring cancerous tissues, this technology holds potential in
various other scenarios:

  • Evaluation of fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver: The technology can be utilized to assess the severity of liver fibrosis, enabling medical professionals to accurately track the disease progression and determine suitable treatment approaches.
  • Musculoskeletal problems such as tendinitis, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome:This technology provides vital insights into the progression of these disorders by monitoring changes in tissue stiffness, allowing doctors to design personalized treatment strategies for their patients.
  • Furthermore, this technology has the potential to be extremely useful in the diagnosis and monitoring of myocardial ischemia. Doctors can recognize early signs of the illness and intervene to avoid additional harm by evaluating the flexibility of artery walls. This skill increases the possibility of proactive healthcare interventions in the management of cardiac ischemia.
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