Researchers have created a brand new device utilizing “vortex ultrasound” – a kind of ultrasonic twister – to successfully break down blood clots within the mind. This progressive method was proven to get rid of clots sooner than present strategies in an in vitro mannequin of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST).
“Our earlier work checked out varied methods that use ultrasound to get rid of blood clots utilizing what are basically forward-facing waves,” says Xiaoning Jiang, co-corresponding writer of a paper on the work. “Our new work makes use of vortex ultrasound, the place the ultrasound waves have a helical wavefront.
“In different phrases, the ultrasound is swirling because it strikes ahead,” says Jiang, who’s the Dean F. Duncan Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University. “Based mostly on our in vitro testing, this method eliminates blood clots extra shortly than current methods, largely due to the shear stress induced by the vortex wave.”
“The truth that our new method works shortly is vital as a result of CVST clots enhance stress on blood vessels within the mind,” says Chengzhi Shi, co-corresponding writer of the work and an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Georgia Tech. “This will increase the danger of a hemorrhage within the mind, which could be catastrophic for sufferers.
“Present methods rely largely on interventions that dissolve the blood clot. However it is a time-consuming course of. Our method has the potential to handle these clots extra shortly, lowering danger for sufferers.”
CVST happens when a blood clot types within the veins chargeable for draining blood from the mind. Incidence charges of CVST had been between 2 and three per 100,000 in the USA in 2018 and 2019, and the incidence price seems to be growing.
“Another excuse our work right here is vital is that present therapies for CVST fail in 20-40% of circumstances,” Jiang says.
The brand new device consists of a single transducer that’s particularly designed to supply the swirling, vortex impact. The transducer is sufficiently small to be integrated right into a catheter, which is then fed by way of the circulatory system to the positioning of the blood clot.
For proof-of-concept in vitro testing, the researchers used cow blood in a 3D-printed mannequin of the cerebral venous sinus.
“Based mostly on obtainable information, pharmaceutical interventions to dissolve CVST blood clots take not less than 15 hours, and common round 29 hours,” Shi says. “Throughout in vitro testing, we had been capable of dissolve an acute blood clot in nicely underneath half an hour.”
Throughout any catheterization or surgical intervention there’s a potential danger of hurt, similar to damaging the blood vessel itself. To deal with this situation, the researchers carried out experiments making use of vortex ultrasound to animal blood vein samples. These checks discovered no harm to the partitions of the blood vessels.
The researchers additionally performed checks to find out whether or not the vortex ultrasound induced important harm to pink blood cells. They discovered that there was not substantial harm to pink blood cells.
“The subsequent step is for us to carry out checks utilizing an animal mannequin to raised set up the viability of this method for CVST remedy,” Jiang says. “If these checks are profitable, we hope to pursue medical trials.”
“And if the vortex ultrasound ever turns into a medical software, it will possible be comparable in price to different interventions used to deal with CVST,” says Shi.
Reference: “A mannequin of high-speed endovascular Sonothrombolysis with vortex ultrasound-induced shear stress to deal with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis” by Bohua Zhang, Huaiyu Wu, Howuk Kim, Phoebe J. Welch, Ashley Cornett, Greyson Stocker, Raul G. Nogueira, Jinwook Kim, Gabe Owens, Paul Dayton, Zhen Xu, Chengzhi Shi and Xiaoning Jiang, 11 January 2023, Analysis.
The research was funded by the Nationwide Science Basis and the Nationwide Institutes of Well being.