Tag: ultrasound

Scientists show ultrasound “drill bits” use nano droplets to break stubborn blood clots

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This new work builds on technology created by the team several years ago basically. In 2017, researchers at North Carolina State University described a new type of thrombus destroyer-an ultrasound transducer that can be inserted into a vein, which directs low-frequency ultrasound to the thrombus. According to the researchers, a major advantage is that these pulses do not harm surrounding blood vessels.

Now, the team has added a new tool to the technology: nanodroplets composed of lipid spheres filled with liquid perfluorocarbon (PFC). These nano droplets are small enough to penetrate blood clots, even dense blood clots, and once there, they can begin to destroy the blood clots from the inside out. The PFCs have a very low boiling point, which means that when they are hit by ultrasonic waves, the liquid turns into a gas, forming tiny bubbles.

As the ultrasonic pulse continues, These microbubbles began to oscillate rapidly, destroying the structure of the blood clot like a group of small jacks. This not only breaks the blood clot into pieces, but also helps the anticoagulant drugs go deep inside. The team tested several treatment combinations in a laboratory model, including drugs, microbubbles and ultrasound, or nanodroplets and ultrasound. Each test lasted 30 minutes.

“We found that the use of nano-droplets, ultrasound and drug therapy is the most effective, reducing the size of blood clots by 40%, plus or minus 9%,” said Xiaoning Jiang, the corresponding author of the study. “The use of nanodroplets and ultrasound alone can reduce the mass by 30%, plus or minus 8%. The next best treatment involves medication, microbubbles and ultrasound – and this only reduces the mass of blood clots by 17%, plus or minus. 9%.”

The team stated that the technology will be most suitable for blood clots that are retracted–those that form over a longer period of time, which are usually denser, making it difficult for drugs to penetrate. The next step will involve testing the safety and effectiveness of deep vein thrombosis in animals.

The research was published in the journal “Microsystems and Nanoengineering”.