Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researcher Develops Ultrasound So Tiny It Can Travel Through the Eardrum

16.12.2008
A researcher at Dalhousie University is developing an ultrasound device so small, it could travel through the eardrum, onwards through the middle ear and then rest against the inner ear. The device will be able to detect scarring from implants in the middle ear, or detect the effects of diseases like Meniere’s.

Imagine an ultrasound device so small, it could travel through the eardrum, onwards through the middle ear and then rest against the inner ear to provide images of the basilier membrane as at it vibrates, sending messages to the brain as it interprets sound.

It’s not science fiction a la Fantastic Voyage—it’s what Dalhousie University researcher Jeremy Brown is developing in collaboration with ear surgeon Manohar Bance, professor of Otology, Neurotology and Skull Base Surgery with Dalhousie’s Faculty of Medicine.

“We’ve been taking what’s called a ‘bench top to bedside’ approach,” says Dr. Brown, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at Dalhousie. “I’d have no idea if this was possible unless I was paired with a surgeon … the collaboration is working out great so far.”

The miniature device measures a mere two millimeters in diameter. Yet, even at that size, the probe contains 150 elements—tiny transducers that vibrate when electric signals are applied. Once planted deep within the ear through a minor surgical procedure, the probe would be able to detect scarring from implants in the middle ear, for example, or detect the ravages of diseases like Meniere’s, an inner-ear disorder which causes episodes of vertigo.

“What’s exciting is that no one has really done this before,” says Dr. Brown, whose interest in sound and sound perception comes from being a musician.

Now, the researchers are ready to take the next step and build on prototypes that have been tested on mice. Money received from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation’s Leaders Opportunity Fund and matched by the Nova Scotia Research and Innovation Trust—$311,000 all told—will allow them to acquire equipment developed by the semi-conductor industry to build and further refine the miniature devices.

“This equipment is so unbelievably good, that we can just piggyback on it to do what we need it to do,” says Dr. Brown.

He is also collaborating with Dr. Bance on a second “small” project, to develop tiny, surgically implanted hearing aids.

Charles Crosby | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.dal.ca

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>