2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Ultrasound

The business end of the probe, built around a single disc-like chip

Imagine if you were trying to clear rubble out of a tunnel, but you could only see that tunnel from the side, instead of looking straight into it. Well, that's currently what it's like for doctors who are trying to see inside patients' blocked coronary blood vessels using ultrasound. Soon, however, a tiny catheter-based probe may give them a 3D real-time forward view from inside those vessels – or from inside the heart itself – not unlike that seen by the microscopic submarine crew in the movie Fantastic Voyage.  Read More

3D Babies offers 3D-printed figurines of your unborn fetus in three sizes

While some expectant parents are happy to conceal the sex until they see their newborn with their own eyes, others just can't wait. We'd guess that by offering 3D-printed figurines modeled on an ultrasound, 3D Babies is targeting the latter group.  Read More

Focused waves of ultrasound have been used to release insulin from reservoirs in the skin

There could be hope for diabetics who are tired of giving themselves insulin injections on a daily basis. Researchers at North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are developing a system in which a single injection of nanoparticles could deliver insulin internally for days at a time – with a little help from pulses of ultrasound.  Read More

One of the prototype ulcer-healing patches

Venous ulcers are nasty things, often found on the lower extremities of elderly or inactive people. They occur when high blood pressure causes the skin adjacent to the affected veins to break down, leaving open wounds that take months or even years to heal. Standard treatments include compression bandages, infection control and standard wound dressings, although these approaches don’t work in all cases. Now, however, scientists are getting good results using band-aid-like patches that emit ultrasound into the ulcers.  Read More

The movement of levitated objects - here a toothpick - is possible by varying the acoustic...

With the exception of magic, the process of levitating objects generally relies on magnetism or electric fields. However, sound waves can also be used to cancel out the effects of gravity to suspend objects and droplets of liquid in mid air. For the first time, researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich (ETH) have been able to control the movement of such levitating objects. Besides looking cool, the technology has implications for the study of various chemical reactions and biological processes and the development and production of pharmaceuticals and electronics.  Read More

A microbubble-enhanced ultrasound image of a beating heart

When someone has a heart attack, it’s crucial that they receive treatment as soon as possible. Emergency medical technicians, however, are limited in how detailed of an on-the-spot diagnosis they can make of a patient’s condition. This means that actual treatment often has to wait until they get the patient to a hospital. That could be changing, however, as a scientist with GE Global Research is now looking into the use of “microbubbles” as a mobile means of imaging the heart and possibly even treating it.  Read More

A firefighting helmet that incorporates ultrasound and vibrational forehead pads could hel...

Firefighters can quite often find themselves in smoke-filled rooms, where it’s impossible to see more than a few inches in any direction. Not wanting those firefighters to run into walls, researchers at the University of Sheffield have created a prototype helmet that vibrates against the wearer’s forehead, letting them know the location of nearby obstacles.  Read More

HeartSense is a device that allows you to hear your unborn baby's heartbeat on your mobile...

Want to hear your baby’s heartbeat before it’s even born? If so, you might want to check out iBaby’s HeartSense fetal Doppler device.  Read More

Casio's Logosease device allows scuba divers to talk to one another, without the use of fu...

Ordinarily, if scuba divers want to talk to one another underwater, they have to wear special full-face masks that leave their mouths unobstructed by the regulator. Such masks are pricey and a bit cumbersome, however, so they’re usually only used by professional divers. Today, however, Casio announced the development of a new type of underwater voice communications device that works with plain old “eyes-and-nose-only” dive masks.  Read More

A basic diagram of MIT's painless drug delivery system

Although some medications just don’t work when taken orally, the fact is that nobody likes getting injections. Research being conducted at MIT, however, could lead to a new painless method of drug delivery via the skin. Harsh though it might sound, it involves using ultrasound to blast off the outer layer of skin, so that drugs can then get into the bloodstream.  Read More

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