A new surgical tool has been devised by the US researchers, which uses low-frequency ultrasound to break down blood clots deep within the veins of the legs, without damaging the surrounding blood vessels. This tool invented is the first ultrasound drill that can be used to target clots straightaway, allowing doctors to reduce the treatment time. Existing intravascular ultrasound tools for clearing clots emit the ultrasonic waves laterally, which makes it harder to target the blood clots exclusively. This also damaged the surrounding blood vessels.
"Our new ultrasound tool is forward-facing, like a drill, but still breaks down clots into very fine particles," said Xiaoning Jiang, Professor at the North Carolina State University.
The tool also incorporates an injection tube that allows users to inject microbubbles at the site of the clot, making the ultrasound waves more effective at breaking down the clot.
"Our approach improves accuracy without relying on high doses of blood thinners, which we hope will reduce risks across the board," Jiang added, in the paper detailed in the journal Scientific Reports.
The researchers tested a prototype of the device in a synthetic blood vessel using cow's blood.
"We found that we could dissolve 90 per cent of a clot in 3.5 to 4 hours without using any blood thinners at all. That's compared to 10 hours for the combination of conventional ultrasound tools and blood thinners," Jinwook Kim, doctoral student at the North Carolina State University.
(With IANS Inputs)