Ultrasound imaging is a safe and harmless operation that allows doctors to obtain direct images of a patient’s internal organs.

To record these images, trained technicians manipulate the ultrasound and transducer to direct sound waves into the body. These waves reflect back high-resolution images of the patient’s heart, lungs, and other organs deep inside the patient’s body.

Currently, ultrasound imaging requires bulky and specialized equipment only available in hospitals. But a new design by MIT engineers could make the technology as wearable and accessible as buying a band-aid at the pharmacy.

In a paper appearing today in the journal Science, engineers present the design for a new ultrasound sticker — a stamp-sized device that can stick to the skin and provide associated ultrasound imaging. of internal organs for 48 hours.

Ultrasonic paper is very small and convenient.

Current designs require connecting stickers to devices that convert reflected sound waves into images. The researchers point out that even in its current form, the sticker could have immediate applications: The devices could, for example, be applied to patients in a hospital, similar to an EKG sticker to monitor the heart and can continuously image internal organs without the technician holding the transducer in place for long periods of time.

If the devices can be made to work wirelessly, ultrasound stickers could become wearable that patients can take home from the doctor’s office or even buy at the pharmacy. In addition, the team is also developing software algorithms based on artificial intelligence to be able to better diagnose images exported from stickers.

Zhao, team leader, envisions that ultrasound stickers could be packaged and purchased by patients and consumers, and used not only to monitor various internal organs, but also to monitor tumor progression, as well as fetal development in the womb.

According to the journal Science.org.

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