Seeing Inside Tissue

Caltech researchers develop technique to focus light inside biological tissue

Imagine if doctors could perform surgery without ever having to cut through your skin. Or if they could diagnose cancer by seeing tumors inside the body with a procedure that is as simple as an ultrasound. Thanks to a technique developed by engineers at Continue reading

New Ultrasound Medical Tools for Space Research

The remoteness and resource limitations of spaceflight pose a serious challenge to astronaut health care. One solution is ultrasound.

Scientists with the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) have developed tools that expand the use of ultrasound during spaceflight and on Earth, especially in rural and underserved locations. These tools include techniques that streamline training and help remote experts guide non-physician astronauts to perform ultrasound exams. Ultrasound can be used to assess numerous conditions – fractured bones, collapsed lungs, kidney stones, organ damage and other ailments – in space and on Earth. With an NSBRI grant, they also created a catalog, or atlas, of “space-normal” imagery of the human body, setting the stage for astronauts to provide care without consulting a physician on Earth. This atlas was handed over to NASA earlier this year.

Dr. Scott A. Dulchavsky, the Roy D. McClure Chairman of Surgery and Surgeon-in-Chief at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, is the principal investigator of these projects and is a member of the NSBRI Smart Medical Systems and Technology Team. “The ultrasound imagery techniques came from space program constraints of not having a trained radiologist on orbit or having a CAT scan or an MRI available, forcing us to use ultrasound for things in which we would not normally use it,” Continue reading

Study Determines Natural Progesterone Helps Reduce Premature Births by Half

A new study published in the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology has found that natural progesterone cream given to certain groups of pregnant women effectively reduced premature birth rates by 50 percent. Pregnant women with a condition known as short cervix are believed to be lacking in progesterone, an essential hormone necessary for the development of healthy babies. So by supplementing with progesterone gel, such women can help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

Many readers will recall the recent US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announcement that the agency was giving exclusive, monopoly approval to KV Pharmaceutical to produce progesterone cream — and that the price of the treatment  Continue reading

Deep Breeze Breakthrough Lets Patients Breathe Better

Around the globe, some 200 million people suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a progressive lung condition usually triggered by long-term smoking. As the disease worsens, patients typically face hospitalization several times a year – at a cost of thousands of dollars per day.

An Israeli company’s innovative medical device could radically change that scenario. Once approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the trademarked Breeze@home, will allow COPD and other chronic lung disease patients to stay out of the hospital while receiving continuous remote monitoring by their healthcare provider from home.

“This will not only make life more bearable for them, but will also save the healthcare system a lot of money,” points out Dr. Michael Nagler, CEO of Deep Breeze Continue reading

Scientists Use Ultrasound to Blast Away Fat Cells

Dieters were given fresh hope Sunday after scientists said they had developed a technique that could make weight loss permanent by using ultrasound to zap fat cells.

Evidence for the high-intensity focused ultrasound [HIFU], used with another treatment that involves freezing fat cells, has been identified in studies as having the potential to achieve weight loss without surgery.

Mark Whiteley, a senior vascular surgeon from Guildford, southeast England, told a meeting of the Royal Society of Medicine that the technique would be effective for destroying small areas of stubborn fat.

“Our results have been very good and, from the previously published studies, it appears  Continue reading