For the examination of coronary blood vessels, intravascular methods with imaging technologies are already state-of-the-art. However, ultrasonic methods, which are used to gather information about the tissue, can only be used externally, up to now. The piezo electronical components necessary for this have not been sufficiently miniaturized to be inserted into the blood vessels.
The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology would like to change this. This group of researchers are thus working on an opto-acoustical sensor for medical ultrasonic technology.
For reliable cardiological diagnostics, intravascular examinations are indispensable. This minimal invasive surgical interventions insert optical sensors directly into the coronary blood vessels and enable a more detailed image of the vessel than could be made using external investigation methods.
Opto-acoustical sensor for detailed images
Now, the scientists want to combine intravascular diagnostics with ultrasonic technology. However, the piezo electronical components necessary for this have not yet been sufficiently miniaturized. For this reason, the new technology is based on optical interferometry:
The intravascular module should be equipped with an opto-acoustical imaging sensor which can provide an internal image of the tissue of the coronary blood vessels up to a depth of 1 mm. To achieve this, a guided laser impulse from an illuminating fiber is first absorbed by the blood vessel tissue. The resulting ultrasonics are then guided to a fiber-based ultrasonic detector via an acoustical lens.
By transforming this signal into an optical signal, a complete image of the vascular walls can be made. An optical interferometer recognizes deviations in the reflection pattern, making the detection of abnormal or disease-based changes in the tissue possible.
The diagnosis of diseases and disorders, for example arteriosclerosis, will be much simpler since this sensor should have a significantly higher sensitivity and resolution, in comparison to present methods. Also, the use in other areas is being considered. Optical interferometry should be examined as an alternative to present ultrasonic detections, including the use for technical applications.
Process Engineering from the LZH
The scientists in the Laser Micromachining Group are developing the process engineering necessary for the production of the acoustical lenses. These will be inserted directly into the glass substrate. In order to do so, specific areas of the substrate will be removed first using the laser, and then polished.
Further parts of the intravascular sensor module are, apart from the lens, an ultrasonic detector element, and a lighting fiber for ultrasonic stimulus. The design and the conversion of the signals into an image which can be used for diagnostics is being developed by the scientists at the Technion.
The research project „Integrated silica-based photoacoustic probe for intravascular imaging via laser micro-machining and interferometric sensors“ is being jointly led by Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ludger Overmeyer (LZH) and Ass. Prof. Amir Rosenthal (Technion). It will be supported by the state of Lower Saxony until the beginning 2019 within the course of the funding initiative “Niedersächsisches Vorab”.
Dr. Nadine Tinne | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
'Neuron-reading' nanowires could accelerate development of drugs for neurological diseases
12.04.2017 | University of California - San Diego
PET radiotracer design for monitoring targeted immunotherapy
10.04.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...
Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.
A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine
21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy