Wednesday, February 26, 2014

New Tiny Ultrasound Camera Sees What's in Your Heart ...really

Developed by a team at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the device consists of a 1.5-mm-wide disc-shaped head, from which trails 13 tiny joined cables. The idea is that it will be inserted into a patient's coronary blood vessels or heart, snaking its way through while being pushed or pulled from outside the body via an integrated 430-micron-wide guide wire, all the while using the cables to transmit ultrasound imagery.

Its head is built around a single silicon chip, which is equipped with a dual-ring array of 56 ultrasound transmit elements and 48 receive elements. Much of the processing of the ultrasound data is performed onboard the chip itself, meaning that less information has to carried outside the body – this is why it requires no more than 13 cables, allowing its consolidated "umbilical cord" to stay skinny and flexible enough to easily move through blood vessels. (more)