Scientists build new ultrasound device using 3D printing technology

With clearer images, doctors and surgeons can have greater control and precision when performing non-invasive diagnostic procedures and medical surgeries.

The new device will allow for more accurate medical procedures that involve the use of ultrasound to kill tumours, loosen blood clots and deliver drugs into targeted cells.

This innovative ultrasound device is equipped with superior resin lenses that have been 3D printed.

In current ultrasound machines, the lens which focuses the ultrasound waves are limited to cylindrical or spherical shapes, restricting the clarity of the imaging.

With 3D printing, complex lens shapes can be made which results in sharper images. The 3D printed lenses allow ultrasound waves to be focussed at multiple sites or shape the focus specially to a target, which current ultrasound machines are unable to do.

Industry partners keen to develop commercial applications

The novel ultrasound device was developed by a multidisciplinary team of scientists, led by Associate Professor Claus-Dieter Ohl from NTU’s School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences.

The ultrasound device had undergone rigorous testing and the findings have been published in Applied Physics Letters, a peer-reviewed journal by a leading global scientific institute — the American Institute of Physics.

With this breakthrough, the NTU team is now in talks with various industry and healthcare partners who are looking at developing prototypes for medical and research applications.

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