New ‘ultrasound tornado’ device breaks down blood clots

[Image courtesy of North Carolina State University]

Researchers at say a new tool and technique using “vortex ultrasound” could potentially break down blood clots in the brain.

This sort of ultrasonic tornado eliminated clots formed in an in vitro model of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). The researchers, based at North Carolina State University, say it worked more quickly than existing techniques.

“Our previous work looked at various techniques that use ultrasound to eliminate blood clots using what are essentially forward-facing waves,” said Xiaoning Jiang, co-corresponding author of a paper on the work. “Our new work uses vortex ultrasound, where the ultrasound waves have a helical wavefront.

Jiang, the Dean F. Duncan Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at N.C. State, said the ultrasound “is swirling as it moves forward.” Because of the shear stress…

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