The wider acoustic waves range reproduced by ultrasonic machine is, the better the quality of the image displayed on the device monitor becomes. Modern equipment works at the frequency of about 20000000 hertz, which gives an opportunity to visualize large structures (organs, tumors, vessels, blood flow). Just imagine how US device capabilities will increase, if ultrasonic transducer power is a thousand times enhanced.

Ultrasound machine that works at microwave frequencies

These days, the leading experts are working on a creation of a fundamentally new ultrasound diagnostics method – investigations in the nanorange. Fixation and processing of acoustic waves at frequency of 10 gigahertz will allow sonographers not only to achieve image clarity never heard of before, but also to examine subsurface structure.

Ultrasound machines of the future: gold nanoscale structures

The breakthrough in the field was achieved by Lawrence National Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy workers. Researchers managed to create a prototype of equipment that reproduced sound waves in the nanorange (10 GHz). Gold nanoscale plasmonic cruciform structures, which convert directed laser beam into acoustic phonons, are used as the main element of a complex mechanism. In the future, this innovative technology is very likely to enter the field of the hardware medicine. It’s expected that this technology will be integrated in every ultrasound machine.

In the words of Berkeley Lab specialists, perspective development will be surely useful in diagnostics and therapeutic practice. In contrast to optical visualization, the use of acoustic machines, which work in the nanometer range, allows to study human body without damaging it. Ultrasound at ultrahigh frequency can provide non-destructive control of materials. High-frequency phonons can easily penetrate through the absorbent layers that even photons cannot do now. Moreover, acoustic phonons use short waves, so that the final image resolution in ultrasound diagnostics will be significantly higher.

Scientists unanimously assert that the most difficult task was to create equipment that could detect ultrasonic vibrations at a frequency of 10,000 Hz. Now, when the prototype is developed, we just need to wait until the technology is implemented in the serial stationary and portable ultrasound machines!

Olexiy Stahiv, doctor, BiMedis company