Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Seismic for the spine: Vibration technology offers alternative to MRI

11.03.2016

Magnetic resonance image isn't everything. A new University of Alberta study shows that vibrating the spine may reveal more when it comes to treating back pain. Teaming with the University of South Denmark to study the lumbar spine of twins, Greg Kawchuk and his team demonstrate that structural changes within the spine alter its vibration response significantly.

Instead of using large seismic vibrations to find oil, we used gentle vibrations to find out where problems exist in the back," explains Kawchuk, professor of physical therapy at the U of A's Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine. "By studying and testing vibration responses in identical twins, we were able to demonstrate that structural changes within the spine alter its vibration response."


This image shows spine vibration technology at work on a patient's back.

Credit: University of Alberta

Publishing online in Scientific Reports on March 11, 2016, the identical twin study design is significant and unique for biomechanical studies like this one. In the instance where twins had similar spines, the vibration responses were statistically similar. Alternatively, if one twin had a different spine, due to an accident or injury for example, the vibration responses were significantly different from each other.

"In Denmark we have the world's largest and most comprehensive twin registry and using this unique resource, we have been able to contribute to research that can potentially help to diagnose millions of back pain patients," says Jan Hartvigsen, professor of clinical biomechanics and musculoskeletal research, University of South Denmark.

... more about:
»MRI »Seismic »TEC »Vibration »back pain »scans »spine

The findings show the viability of vibration as a diagnostic tool that could help improve MRI utilization in the short term, Kawchuk says.

"One of the biggest problems in back pain today is over utilization of MRI scans in patients that do not need them. This is a waste of health care resources that leads to over treatment and even increased disability. By using a simple, safe and inexpensive technology like this, we can potentially decrease the use of these scans significantly," says Hartvigsen.

The study also has implications in the long term and could provide new diagnoses not seen by current imaging tests.

"While an MRI shows us a picture of the spine, it doesn't show how the spine is working. It's like taking a picture of a car to see if the car is capable of starting. Vibration diagnostics shows us more than how the spine looks, it shows us how the spine is functioning," explains Kawchuk.

"Back problems are a significant cause of disability world-wide. For 90 per cent of these patients, current diagnostic methods are not able to identify their problems," says Cameron Schuler, President and CEO, VibeDxTM, who co-founded the VibeDx Diagnostic Corp, a TEC Edmonton spinoff company that has licensed the technology developed by Kawchuk. "Our hope is VibeDx™ will help improve our ability to identify the cause of the patient's back problem, which will then assist clinicians in matching a patient to the best course of treatment for their specific situation."

"VibeDx™ is a TEC Edmonton client and we're delighted to see international recognition for this innovative University of Alberta spinoff," said Chris Lumb, CEO of TEC Edmonton, an accelerator for early stage technology companies. "VibeDx™ is a prime example of the outstanding research and commercialization taking place in Edmonton and at the University of Alberta."

Media Contact

Laurie Wang
laurie.wang@ualberta.ca
780-492-9403

 @ualberta

http://www.ualberta.ca 

Laurie Wang | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: MRI Seismic TEC Vibration back pain scans spine

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht Biocompatible 3-D tracking system has potential to improve robot-assisted surgery
17.02.2017 | Children's National Health System

nachricht Real-time MRI analysis powered by supercomputers
17.02.2017 | University of Texas at Austin, Texas Advanced Computing Center

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Switched-on DNA

20.02.2017 | Materials Sciences

Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

Prospect for more effective treatment of nerve pain

20.02.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>