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TECH: Researchers Create A New Optical Ultrasound Needle Meant For (Internal) Surgical Images

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Optical Ultrasound Needle
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Researchers Create A New Optical Ultrasound Needle Meant For (Internal) Surgical Images

We all see how technology changes the world each day. But aside from the computers and smartphones, there are numerous benefits of embracing technology in education, transportation and healthcare.

A great example of the rise of technology in healthcare and medicine is a new research published in Light: Science & Applications which is based on creating an optical ultrasound needle whose main aim is to take internal surgical images.

The needle will feature two optical fibers – one of which generating ultrasonic pulses by delivering brief flashes of light – and the other detecting the light reflected by the tissues in the body. The needle will help in getting a good look at the tissue being targeted in a new form of minimally-invasive surgeries. It will also lower the risk of infection and decrease the amount of scar tissue and therefore result in shorter recovery times.

As Richard Colchester, the author of the study said, “The whole process happens extremely quickly, giving an unprecedented real-time view of soft tissue.” In a an official statement, his partner said that “using inexpensive optical fibres, we have been able to achieve high resolution imaging using needle tips that are less than 1mm in size.”

So far, the needle has been tested during heart surgeries in pigs and is about to get tested in many other clinical applications where minimally invasive techniques are used. The needle is obviously designed to be applied in human surgeries as well.

The video below pretty much sums up how this optical ultrasound needle works.

So, what do you think about this needle? Is it aiming towards the future of surgical medicine? Let us know in the comments!

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