Discuss the concept of ultrasound.
The concept of ultrasound came with the evolvement of physics of sound. Sound is a mechanical wave which requires a medium to travel from one place to another. The sound which we are capable of hearing is of range 16 Hz and 20 kHz. Anything which is above or below this range of frequency is inaudible to human ear. But this is only limited to human ear, when it comes to other species, they can. The waves of frequency above 20 kHz can be heard by bat, dolphins, sea lions, cats, dogs, whale etc. and these waves are called as Ultrasonic waves.
The ultrasonic sounds which are generally used for communication with these species are in the range of 20-100 kHz. However, certain higher frequencies can also be achieved and are being used in the medical application. These ultrasonic sounds are produced by Ultrasonic transducer and can produce in the range of 1-20 MHz. Ultrasound have found great application in the medical field such as measuring the distant of the internal organs, their structure and the speed at which it is moving. The point at which the ultrasonic physics have reached today is only possible just because of the researchers who are working for the last 2 decades for the advancement of it. This paper will be discussing about all such efforts put by them to bring the technology to this level.
History of Ultrasound physics
It is assumed that the evolvement of ultrasound may have been done by any of the medical professional. However, the real story is quite different. The scientists from different profession who are not at all connected to medical profession were the one to do so. It was only after the advancement of science and technology, the medical sector realized the potential of ultrasonic waves in treatment, diagnosis and detection (Baker, 2008).
The root of ultrasound is considered to be traced from the period of ancient Greeks. The inventor of the Pythagoras theorem, Pythagoras was the first person to invent the sonomter and study the sound of the music (Tsung, 2012). In the year 1794, Italian physiologist observed the phenomena of echolocation used by the bat to guide them to move. Echolocation is a property of making ultrasonic sound such that it hit the object and bounce back from the object; this echo formation helps the bat in knowing the size, location and structure of any object in their way. In the second half of 1826, Jean Daniel who is a French scientist found out that sound travel faster in water when compared to air by submerging a church bell. Later in the year 1880, Piezo-electric effect was discovered by the Curies (Jacques Curie and Pierre Curie), according to which if mechanical stress is applied on certain prepared crystals then surface charges is developed. Finally in the year 1915, there came a great revolution in the field of ultrasonic physics (Wouter, 2014). As a result of sinking of Titanic in the year 1912, the researchers and the scientists were forced to find out some safety resolution so that these things can be avoided. Paul Langevin, a French scientist invented the first transducer named as hydrophone which can recognize the icebergs and later in the First World War, for recognize the enemy submarines.
For the next 27 years the development of the basic technology carried on and then in the year 1942, Karl Dussik, an Australian Psychiatrist and Neurologist started using the ultrasonic technology for the treatment of brain tumor. Since then, year by year ultrasonic technology have advanced and broadened the area in medical field which includes detection of gallstones in the year 1942, incorporation of ultrasound in GYN/OB in 1958, imaging blood flow in layers of heart in 1966, development of Doppler instruments in 1970s, 3D image capturing of fetus in 1989 and then to 4D imaging in the 1990’s (Verweij, 2015).
The biological imaging which we see today, the major of it was developed in the 80’s. We see a color image nowadays using an ultrasonic tool which was not at all possible in the 70’s. It was only in the year 1983 that real time color imaging was conceptualized by Quantum Medical System during the meeting held at American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine. However, this was only a concept until three people from Japan namely Ryozo Omoto, Koroku Namekawa and Chihiro Kasai in the year 1985 realized that it could actually be brought into practice.
It took almost 3 years to bring the first commercial 3D scanner in to the market which could be used for the imaging of the cardiac structures and was named as Combison 330. After the development of the scanner the majority of the pioneer of Ultrasonic physics started working to enhance the imaging property of the technique.
It was in the year 1994 that the duo of Olaf Von and Stephen William developed the state-of-the-art “Medical Ultrasound Imaging” integrated circuit which was capable of providing multiple real time images at a single go.
Presently, the ultrasound technology is even evolving further as does the other personal communication devices. Nowadays, the IPhone comes with a tele sonography and further NASA have developed virtual guidance program to perform ultrasound in space.
Capabilities of Transducers
Of all the development in ultrasound technologies, the biggest revolution was the development of transducers. Let’s point out some of the capabilities of the transducers:
Wind direction and speed can be measured
Relative distance between two objects can be identified
Speed of the particles in the air or water can be determined
Fuel or water level can be identified
When it comes to medical field, there are huge numbers of capabilities which can be discussed. In short the evolvement of the transducer was a great boon for the medical sector and because of which several diagnosis came into lime light and achieved success.
Baker, J. (2008). Joan Baker delivers the McLaughlin Lecture at the 2008 SDMS Conference. Retrieved 25 Sep, 2016, from https://www.radiologytoday.net/archive/rt_120108p28.shtml
Tsung, J. (2012). History of Ultrasound and Technological Advances, Retrieved on 25 Sep, 2016, from https://www.wcume.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/Tsung.pdf
Wouter, J. (2014). Silicon photonic micro-ring resonators to sense strain and ultrasound (Ph.D.). Delft University of Technology.
Verweij, M. (2015). "A sensitive optical micro-machined ultrasound sensor (OMUS) based on a silicon photonic ring resonator on an acoustical membrane". Scientific Reports, 12, 7-10.