Biochemical changes in the body can be monitored using ultrasound

researchers have developed a method allowing real-time tracking of the state of the internal environment of the body using ultrasound scanner.

Achievement is described in a scientific paper published in the journal ACS Sensors.

Change the pH (acidity) in the blood, among other things, shows does a cancer on chemotherapy. The increase in protein level of troponin indicates the threat of a heart attack. Other biochemical changes also convey important information.

But how to track them in real time? To the man trailer and mobile laboratory personnel and a full set of equipment.

Suggests a solution: to implant under the skin in small, and safe sensor. For obvious reasons, the device must be as small as possible in size. In addition, to avoid problems, it should be as simple as possible. Finally, it would be ideal if such a device does not consume electricity, in order to avoid the problem of charging batteries.

to Satisfy all these requirements, if the human body will be only a tiny part of the system. The rest of the equipment is much more voluminous and complex, and requiring power supply shall be located in the external world.

Experts have already developed several similar technologies. But they use bulky and expensive scanning methods such as MRI and computed tomography. Doctors tend to adapt ultrasound scanners that can be made cheap and portable (moreover, they are completely safe). In principle, ultrasound scanner can be integrated even in smartphone.

today there is a method of ultrasound with contrast enhancement. In the patient’s blood injected drug, releasing micro bubbles of gas. The latter reflect ultrasonic waves quite differently, as human tissue. Due to this, the contrast of the image increases sharply.

you Can develop medications that produce micro bubbles only when needed conditions, for example, at elevated pH. The problem is that the process ends quickly: the bubbles cease to be produced, already after 10-20 minutes. This method is not suitable for continuous monitoring of the condition of the body.

the authors of the new work has created nanoparticles that change their stiffness depending on the pH of their environment. This change is noticeable by ultrasound scanning of the tissue, which introduced of such particles.

the Technology was first tested in the simulation of living tissues, then the tissues of the dead mice and finally in the body of living rodents. The experiment confirmed that for ultrasound scan to judge the pH level.

Now scientists plan to test whether the technology to track rapid changes in pH associated with heart attack and stroke (these experiences are, of course, also be done on animals).

they Also hope to “teach” the nanoparticles to react to the level of oxygen in the blood and proteins, indicating various diseases.

By the way, earlier “Conduct.Science” ( wrote about the ultrasonic scanner does not require contact with the patient’s skin. We wrote about the system that tracks the movement of the “silent” implant.

Text: To.Science