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Researchers develop new surgical tool to better target blood clots

MDBR Staff Writer Published 15 June 2017

Researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State University) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new surgical tool to effectively target clots.

The new surgical tool will use low-frequency intravascular ultrasound to break down blood clots, which cause deep vein thrombosis.

The new tool is claimed to be the first ultrasound drill that can target straight ahead, enabling doctors to better target clots and reduce treatment time.

It integrates an injection tub that enables users to inject microbubbles at the site of the clot, helping to provide effective ultrasound waves.

Newly developed tool also features an injection tube that enables users to inject microbubbles at the site of the clot, turning the ultrasound waves more effective at breaking down the clot.

Through using cow’s blood, the researchers tested a prototype of the device in a synthetic blood vessel.

The researchers have filed a patent on the technology to work with industry partners to develop the device.

Another technique uses a diamond-tipped drill to effectively chew through clots, which is said to provide less risk to blood vessels.

NC State mechanical and aerospace engineering professor Xiaoning Jiang said: “Our new ultrasound tool is forward-facing, like a drill, but still breaks down clots into very fine particles.

“Our approach improves accuracy without relying on high doses of blood thinners, which we hope will reduce risks across the board.”

Jiang’s lab Ph.D student and paper lead author Jinwook Kim said: “We found that we could dissolve 90% of a clot in 3.5 to 4 hours without using any blood thinners at all.”


Image: Researchers have developed the first ultrasound drill that can be aimed straight ahead to better target clots. Photo: courtesy of NC State University.