Biomedical Applications of Acoustics

date April 19, 2013
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Friday, April 19, 2013 4:00 p.m. in ETC 4.150

Dr. Armen Sarvazyan
Artann Laboratories, Inc.

In this presentation, a wide range of topics related to biomedical applications of acoustics, ranging from diagnostic imaging and biosensors to ultrasound-enhanced drug delivery and time-reversed acoustics, will be demonstrated. For example, Artann Laboratories has developed a family of ultrasonic devices for assessment of bone health and diagnosis of diseases of the skeletal system. The fundamental difference between Bone UltraSonic Scanner™ (BUSS) developed in Artann and existing bone ultrasonometers lies in the use of multiple modes of acoustic waves generated in a wide frequency range thus resulting in multiparametric characterization of bone conditions. In addition to osteoporosis, BUSS could be used in pediatric bone growth monitoring, drug-induced bone deterioration, assessment of bone health in sports medicine, monitoring condition of skeletal system of astronauts during long-term space missions, and veterinary medicine. Another ultrasonic technology developed in Artann is related to monitoring body hydration level which is critical in maintaining both physical and cognitive health. Body water weight loss—dehydration—impairs abilities and can lead to severe health problems, even death. The Hydration Monitor (HM) is based on correlation of tissue molecular composition and acoustic properties. Specifically, the ultrasound velocity in the soft tissue is a linear function of the tissue water content. Because muscle provides the largest body reservoir for water, the assessment of water imbalance is conducted by measuring speed of ultrasound in muscle. A prototype of HM was extensively tested in animal tissues in vitro, and in human studies involving adult patients with lower limb edemas and athletes during acute dehydration and rehydration. One of the hottest areas in medical imaging is tissue elastography. Two recent volumes of Current Medical Imaging Reviews (Specials issues on hot topics) were devoted to Elasticity Imaging (EI), which is an area of major activities in Artann. Artann developed several modalities of EI, licensed them to several companies and holds about 20 USA patents related to EI. One of such EI technologies licensed to a French company SSI is Shear Wave Elasticity Imaging (SWEI) – a method of tissue elasticity assessment and visualization.  In SWEI, the radiation force of focused ultrasound remotely induces localized shear waves, which are visualized by ultrasonic or MRI methods in order to assess tissue elasticity. Several other innovative projects of Artann, such as medical and industrial applications of the Time Reversal Acoustics and Ultrasound Particle Agglutination method for the detection of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) antibody in body fluids, will be presented. The presentation will conclude with the discussion of current and future trends in these and other biomedical acoustic technologies.