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 Can radar replace stethoscopes?
14.08.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

nachricht Novel PET imaging method could track and guide therapy for type 1 diabetes
03.08.2018 | Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>