Engineering Innovation Podcast and Radio Series

Bloodless Surgery

PostedNovember 18, 2007

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Randy Atkins:  Bloodless surgery.  Zhen Xu, a University of Michigan bioengineer, says ultrasound a hundred times stronger than in today’s imaging tools could be used…
Zhen Xu:  …to focus the energy beneath the tissue, beneath the skin, and to perform the surgery without cutting open anything, without bleeding or stitches.

Randy Atkins:  Xu says precisely-aimed sound waves generate fast-moving microbubbles, that mechanically fragment problem tissue.

Zhen Xu:  We break up to such tiny pieces that they even are smaller than red blood cells.

Randy Atkins:  Xu says the liquefied material could be taken out with a needle, or simply eliminated from the body naturally.  With the National Academy of Engineering, Randy Atkins, WTOP Radio.

The procedure, called
histotripsy, is a couple years away from human trials.