Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Duke engineers develop new 3-D cardiac imaging probe

31.05.2005


Biomedical engineers at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering have created a new three-dimensional ultrasound cardiac imaging probe. Inserted inside the esophagus, the probe creates a picture of the whole heart in the time it takes for current ultrasound technology to image a single heart cross section.



The new probe has considerable potential not only for evaluating the condition of the heart, but also for use in guiding therapeutic treatment devices, the researchers said. The new Duke probe can also be used to image the esophagus, rectum, colon and prostate.

A peer-reviewed report on the work was published this month in volume 26 issue number 4 of the journal Ultrasonic Imaging. (Note: Because the journal’s publication is backlogged, the issue date is 2004.)


The research is funded by the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the National Institutes of Health and by the National Science Foundation.

One form of ultrasound cardiac imaging, called transesophageal echocardiography (TEE), is conducted on hundreds of people each day in the United States. The technique entails inserting a probe down the patient’s throat and behind the heart to capture ultrasound heart images. The images can reveal the condition of the heart chambers, valves, major blood vessels and heart tissue. TEE is a safe and fast diagnostic technique.

However, current TEE systems can quickly generate only two-dimensional cross-sectional images. This limitation makes it impractical for use in guiding therapeutic treatment devices such as ablation probes that burn off damaged cells that cause an irregular heart beat. Clinicians must repeatedly and painstakingly reposition the 2-D probe during treatments so, instead, they use fluoroscopy (X-ray movies) to guide the placement of the treatment devices. However, the use of X-ray imaging results in radiation exposure for patients and requires bulky lead-shielding garments for clinicians. In addition, such procedures take up to seven hours to complete.

Biomedical engineering professor Stephen Smith, who specializes in ultrasound imaging, said a move to three-dimensional imaging is the next logical step.

"Three-D ultrasound is already an established technology in many hospitals," Smith said. "With our new real-time 3-D transesophageal probe, we have all the benefits of the 2-D TEE probe and none of the drawbacks. We can generate sharp, high-contrast images of the whole heart and position heart catheters and ablation devices at the same time. We have already done so in laboratory tests on animals."

Smith and his team, including biomedical engineering graduate student Chris Pua, developed the probe specifically for use in hospitals and clinics. For example, they used the outer casing of a commercially available 2-D TEE probe to house their new 3-D model. The casing design already has been tested and approved for use.

The new Duke 3-D probe is tipped with a dime-sized array of 504 individual ultrasound sensors. Each sensor is as wide as a few human hairs. "It took a craftsman to create this probe," said Smith. "Not many graduate students could have done what Chris Pua has done."

"Maintaining the size of normal TE probes was a main factor in the design since 3-D imaging inherently requires significantly more sensors than 2-D imaging," said Pua. "The original casing held enough cabling for 64 transducer elements whereas our design successfully incorporates 8 times that number."

The probe generates ultrasound at 5 million vibrations per second, which, combined with the 504 sensors, provides great sensitivity and a sharp image, Smith said. And because the image is large enough to encompass the whole volume of the heart, fewer "pictures" need to be taken. This may shorten patient time in clinics, he said.

Deborah Hill | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.duke.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study tracks inner workings of the brain with new biosensor
16.08.2018 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

nachricht Foods of the future
15.08.2018 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen

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: 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...

Im Focus: Lining up surprising behaviors of superconductor with one of the world's strongest magnets

Scientists have discovered that the electrical resistance of a copper-oxide compound depends on the magnetic field in a very unusual way -- a finding that could help direct the search for materials that can perfectly conduct electricity at room temperatur

What happens when really powerful magnets--capable of producing magnetic fields nearly two million times stronger than Earth's--are applied to materials that...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
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

2018 Work Research Conference

25.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Staying in Shape

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Diving robots find Antarctic seas exhale surprising amounts of carbon dioxide in winter

16.08.2018 | Earth Sciences

Protein droplets keep neurons at the ready and immune system in balance

16.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>