We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

Wearable Ultrasound Patch Continuously Monitors Cerebral Blood Flow

By MedImaging International staff writers
Posted on 24 May 2024
Print article
Image: This soft and stretchy ultrasound patch can be worn on the temple to provide continuous monitoring of blood flow in the brain (Photo courtesy of David Baillot/UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)
Image: This soft and stretchy ultrasound patch can be worn on the temple to provide continuous monitoring of blood flow in the brain (Photo courtesy of David Baillot/UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering)

The standard clinical method for monitoring cerebral blood flow, transcranial Doppler ultrasound, depends on a skilled technician holding an ultrasound probe against the patient’s head. This method, however, has limitations. It is operator-dependent, which means the accuracy of the readings can vary with the operator's skill. Moreover, it is not suitable for continuous monitoring, as cerebral blood flow is usually checked only at specific times during the day, which may not capture fluctuations occurring at other times. Now, a wearable ultrasound patch overcomes these hurdles by offering a hands-free, consistent, and comfortable solution for monitoring cerebral blood flow that patients can wear continuously throughout their hospital stay.

Developed by engineers at the University of California San Diego (La Jolla, CA, USA), this wearable ultrasound patch allows for the continuous, non-invasive monitoring of cerebral blood flow. The patch, which is soft, stretchy, and worn on the temple, provides three-dimensional blood flow data, a first for wearable technology. This innovation is particularly beneficial for patients undergoing or recovering from brain surgery, representing a significant advancement over traditional transcranial Doppler ultrasound. The patch is about the size of a postage stamp and is made from a silicone elastomer containing several layers of stretchy electronics. It includes an array of small piezoelectric transducers that emit and receive ultrasound waves to measure blood flow.

Another essential feature of the patch is a copper mesh layer made of spring-shaped wires that enhance signal quality by reducing interference from the body and external environment. Additional layers include stretchable electrodes that support the patch’s functionality. For operation, the patch connects via cables to a power source and a computer. The system utilizes ultrafast ultrasound imaging to perform 3D monitoring. Unlike conventional ultrasound, which captures around 30 images per second, ultrafast imaging captures thousands, crucial for collecting detailed data from the piezoelectric transducers, which could otherwise be diminished by the strong reflection from the skull. Data are then processed using specialized algorithms to reconstruct three-dimensional details such as the size, angle, and position of the major brain arteries.

Researchers tested the ultrasound patch on 36 healthy volunteers to assess its ability to measure blood flow velocities—peak systolic, mean flow, and end-diastolic velocities—in the brain’s major arteries. The study participants undertook activities that affected blood flow, such as hand-gripping, breath-holding, and reading. The measurements of the ultrasound patch were almost similar to those obtained using a conventional ultrasound probe. The researchers will now collaborate with clinicians at UC San Diego School of Medicine to test the ultrasound patch on patients suffering from neurological conditions that affect cerebral blood flow.

“The continuous monitoring capability of the patch addresses a critical gap in current clinical practices,” said study co-first author Sai Zhou.

“The cerebral vasculature is a complex structure with multiple branching vessels. You need a device capable of capturing this three-dimensional information to get the whole picture and obtain more accurate measurements,” added Xinyi Yang, another co-first author of this study.

Related Links:
UC San Diego

Print article



view channel
Image: Physicians using the Zenition 90 Motorized mobile X-ray system (Photo courtesy of Royal Philips)

High-Powered Motorized Mobile C-Arm Delivers State-Of-The-Art Images for Challenging Procedures

During complex surgical procedures, clinicians depend on surgical imaging systems as they navigate challenging anatomy to quickly visualize small anatomical details while minimizing X-ray exposure.... Read more

Nuclear Medicine

view channel
Image: 68Ga-NC-BCH whole-body PET imaging rapidly targets an important gastrointestinal cancer biomarker in lesions in GI cancer patients (Photo courtesy of Qi, Guo, et al.; doi.org/10.2967/jnumed.123.267110)

New PET Radiotracer Enables Same-Day Imaging of Key Gastrointestinal Cancer Biomarker

Gastrointestinal cancers rank among the most prevalent cancers worldwide, contributing to over a quarter of all cancer cases and over one-third of cancer-related deaths annually. The initial symptoms of... Read more

General/Advanced Imaging

view channel
Image: The denoised image is less noisy and the defect is more detectable and visually clearer with DEMIST (Photo courtesy of Abhinav Jha/WUSTL)

Artificial Intelligence Tool Enhances Usability of Medical Images

Doctors use myocardial perfusion imaging (MPI) single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) images to evaluate blood flow to the heart muscle. To capture these images, patients are administered a... Read more

Imaging IT

view channel
Image: The new Medical Imaging Suite makes healthcare imaging data more accessible, interoperable and useful (Photo courtesy of Google Cloud)

New Google Cloud Medical Imaging Suite Makes Imaging Healthcare Data More Accessible

Medical imaging is a critical tool used to diagnose patients, and there are billions of medical images scanned globally each year. Imaging data accounts for about 90% of all healthcare data1 and, until... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.