This Tiny Camera Could Take Real Time 3D Images From Inside the Heart and Blood Vessels

This Tiny Camera Could Take Real Time 3D Images From Inside the Heart and Blood Vessels
Rob Felt

Technology seems to be making life a whole lot easier for the likes of doctors and scientists, alike. Now surgeons can benefit from 3D images showing the insides of human arteries and veins from more than one direction. All thanks to a 1.5mm snapper that can boast up to 60 frames each second. The man behind this piece of technology, Professor F. Levent Degertekin, designed this with the purpose of putting a bigger picture of the internals of blood vessels on view for doctors. For this reason, he attached a tiny 20MHz ultrasonic transducer at the end of a piece of wire.

Arteries cam, Arteries camera, 3d image camera for heart
Courtesy: Rob Felt

Professor Degertekin further explained the importance of this, “If you’re a doctor, you want to see what is going on inside the arteries and inside the heart, but most of the devices being used for this today provide only cross-sectional images.” He added, “If you have an artery that is totally blocked, for example, you need a system that tells you what’s in front of you. You need to see the front, back and sidewalls altogether. That kind of information is basically not available at this time.”

Degertekin was able to attach a total of 48 receivers and 56 ultrasonic transmitters on a really small chip. A hole is punched in for the guide wire to pass through. He also processed some data on this chip that accounts for the reduction in size of the cables. This makes transmission of information much more convenient. According to Degertekin, this would translate in extremely compact and flexible catheter.

Users won’t have to worry about the device overheating since it has the ability to shut down when not in use. Otherwise, it could adversely affect the patient’s blood. On the bright side, 20MHz frequency sensor offers sufficient resolution to focus on blood clots. It’s too early to pass final judgment regarding its effectiveness since it has not been tested on a living creature yet. If it’s any consolation, tests on a removed chicken heart have proved very successful.