Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Clotted fat in the blood can be separated with ultrasound

24.09.2002


An entirely new method for purifying blood has been developed at the Lund Institute of Technology, LTH, in Sweden. The blood is led out in hair-thin channels and is processed with ultrasound. A company in the neighboring research village IDEON is now perfecting the first medical application: a treatment to separate out clotted fat so-called fat embolin blood. But the method is a general one and can be applied to other medical treatments.



Heart surgery can be troubled by certain intellectual disturbances: such as memory, learning, and counting in the head function less well than before the operation. These problems often disappear after a few weeks or a couple of months, but up to 30 percent of patients are permanently affected.

“The cause of the phenomenon is a bone of contention,” says Associate Professor Henrik Jönsson at the Thorax Clinic in Lund.


In connection with heart surgery, bleeding causes blood to gather in the heart and lungs. This blood is usually suctioned up and returned to the patient. This is a natural process considering the shortage of donated blood and the risk that is always involved in transfusing blood from people other than the patient.

“In the early 1990s Dixon Moody discovered that patients who have had heart surgery have fat emboli in the brain. Research up to 1998 then showed that this clotted fat comes from the area operated on. I personally met Dixon Moody and asked him how many fat clots there are in the brain after heart surgery. His answer was: ‘About three million!’”

Henrik Jönsson has conducted research in the same field and started to wonder whether it would be possible to purify the blood with the help of ultrasound. He contacted the Department of Electrical Measurements at LTH, a pioneer in the use of ultrasound for medical purposes. Different components in the blood reflect ultrasound in different ways, a phenomenon called acoustic impedance. Henrik Jönsson’s idea was that if blood were exposed to a standing acoustical wave, the blood cells would gather at the nodes (where the waves intersect each other) and the fat in the opposite positions, at the antinodes.

The blood is pumped into a chamber. Ultrasound can then be directed in such a way that the fat is pressed against the sides of the chamber. The blood is driven forward through the chamber, but the fat is forced out in side-channels. This worked in principle, but in practice the process was disturbed by vortexes that built up in the side-channels. At this juncture, Professor Thomas Laurell at Electronic Measurements suggested that the process should be scaled down to the micro format.

“We etched the channels in silicon chips. In this way we avoided the vortexes,” says Thomas Laurell. On the other hand, the flow is tiny. A single channel lets through only 0.3 ml/hr. But that problem is easily solved by simultaneously pumping the blood through several parallel channels on the chip. At present we have achieved a flow of 60 ml/hr with one chip. The objective is to deploy a few chips to attain a rate of one liter per hour. The method will then be practicable. The degree of purification is also high: at least 95% of the fat emboli are removed in the process.

Two years ago Henrik Jönsson established the Ideon company Erysave AB, where Thomas Laurell is now an associate. They are developing a silicon rack containing many parallel channels that are nine by nine centimeters in full scale. In industrial production, however, silicon would be too expensive as a material base, and Erysave is working on a disposable component of form-sprayed plastic. They are applying the same technique as is used for impressing CDs.

Mats Nygren | alfa
Further information:
http://www.lu.se

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Researchers release the brakes on the immune system
18.10.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Norovirus evades immune system by hiding out in rare gut cells
12.10.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Electrode materials from the microwave oven

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

New material for digital memories of the future

19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Physics boosts artificial intelligence methods

19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>