MIT engineers created stamp-sized stickers that can see inside the body: 'We've opened a new era of wearable imaging'

MIT engineers created stamp-sized stickers that can see inside the body: ‘We’ve opened a new era of wearable imaging’

A surgeon sitting in front of screens of a Focal One device performs a robot-assisted prostate tumorectomy using ultrasound imaging on April 10, 2014 at the Edouard Herriot hospital in Lyon, center France.
A surgeon sitting in front of screens of a Focal One device performs a robot-assisted prostate tumorectomy using ultrasound imaging on April 10, 2014 at the Edouard Herriot hospital in Lyon, center France.

JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images

  • Engineers from MIT have created a wearable ultrasound medical device.
  • The stamp-sized sticker can provide live, high-resolution internal ultrasound imaging for 48 hours. 

Engineers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have created a stamp-sized sticker that can provide live, high-resolution ultrasound imaging of blood vessels and internal organs when worn by patients. 

The wearable medical device can provide continuous ultrasound imaging of internal organs for 48 hours, according to a paper published in Science.

The stickers, measuring 2 by 3 centimeters, adhere directly to the skin and could enable diagnostic and monitoring tools for various diseases, including some heart conditions, pregnancy-related complications, and several types of cancers.

“We imagine we could have a box of stickers, each designed to image a different location of the body,” the study’s senior author, Xuanhe Zhao, professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at MIT, told the MIT News Office. “We believe this represents a breakthrough in wearable devices and medical imaging.”

Zhao did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment. 

While the devices currently need to be connected to transducers to produce clear images, the engineers behind the stickers are working on creating wireless versions that would allow patients to wear the devices home from the hospital or doctor’s office. 

“We envision a few patches adhered to different locations on the body, and the patches would communicate with your cellphone, where AI algorithms would analyze the images on demand,”  Zhao told the MIT News Office. “We believe we’ve opened a new era of wearable imaging: With a few patches on your body, you could see your internal organs.”

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