Non-Invasive Bone and Joint Damage Detection Device
Radiography is an important diagnostic tool in medicine but unfortunately suffers from certain limitations. X-ray detection equipment is not totally portable, cannot detect certain types of injuries and fractures, and requires patients be monitored for and protected from exposure to ionizing radiation. Also, imaging modalities like computed tomography (CT) for imaging hard tissue and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for analyzing soft tissue in order to detect damage, have their complications. Both of these methods are very expensive and many patients will have to endure a painful ordeal before they can receive a CT or MRI. Rice has pioneered a portable, non-invasive bone and joint damage detection device that does not use any imaging techniques but measures the acoustic response of the tissue to a given load and frequency spectrum. Bones, like any solid object, respond to external vibration and do so in characteristic ways. When bones or tissue is damaged, this response changes. Rice researchers have used this characteristic as the basis for a new compact sensor, which may be used to quickly diagnose fractures both in the clinic and in the field. Potential users of this device include emergency medical technicians and paramedics who do not have access to radiographic equipment and to physicians who wish to be able to cross-check radiographic findings in order to diagnose hard-to-detect bone and tissue injuries.
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