The ability to accurately and rapidly diagnosis fractures, shrapnel, wound tracts, and soft tissue injuries are key to effective rapid treatment. Traditional radiographic methods require heavy, bulky X-ray systems that are not suitable for far forward bases or in the field. Current ultrasound systems have shown great promise for diagnosis in the field, but the skill needed for operation and manipulation of the transducer and lack of volumetric data often limit their effectiveness.
We have preliminary evidence that flexible conformable ultrasound arrays for medical imaging are feasible and applicable to the problem of fracture detection in arms, legs, head and neck, as well as detection of shrapnel and wound tracts. These arrays have the advantage of providing multiple unique "looks" around objects and can produce high resolution volumetric images of human extremities in real time. This blood-pressure cuff-type flexible conformable array will allow less experienced personnel to obtain high quality images with minimal manipulation of the affected extremities, since mechanical scanning is not required. These arrays offer the additional advantages of lower power consumption, high portability (laptop based), and durability for battlefield use.
This research project is part of an ongoing collaboration between CASIT and the UC Santa Barbara Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the UCLA Department of Bioengineering, the UCLA Department of Surgery, and the UCLA School of Dentistry. This group has previously developed acoustic modeling tools using finite element simulations, transducer fabrication techniques, signal processing algorithms, and testing and characterization methods for various ultrasound applications, ranging from dental ultrasound to minimally invasive surgery.
Funding for this work is provided by the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center (TATRC) and the Department of Defense (DoD).
Warren Grundfest, MD, UCLA Department of Bioengineering, Surgery, Electrical Engineering
Martin Culjat, PhD, UCLA Department of Surgery
Rahul Singh, PhD, UCSB Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Elliott Brown, PhD, UCSB Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Hua Lee, PhD, UCSB Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Graudate Students: Michael Lee, Shyam Natarajan, Aaron Dann
Undergraduate Students: Johnathan Mai
Publications in Conference and Symposium Proceedings: