Singapore Scientists Develop New Ultrasound Device using 3D Printed Lenses

Scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a new ultrasound device using 3D printed lenses to produce sharper images.

It helps doctors, surgeons to forecast clearer images and to have greater control and precision while performing non-invasive diagnostic procedures and medical surgeries.

Precise medical procedures can be performed using the device and kills tumours, loosen blood clots and deliver drugs into targeted cells. The device is equipped with superior resin lenses, which are 3D printed. This technology helps to reduce image distortions and differentiate cancerous from non-cancerous soft tissue.

Sharper images can be made using 3D printing and the 3D printed lenses that allow ultrasound waves which are focused at multiple sites or shape.

To produce high-frequency vibrations, ultrasound waves are generated through firing sound waves at a glass surface or lens. The ensuing heat causes the lens to enlarge rapidly; generating high frequency vibrations that generate ultrasound waves in conventional ultrasound machines.

With lenses that are 3D printed, limitations of glass can be prevailed over through the new ultrasound devices. Complex and customized 3D printed lenses can be made for various targets. Besides generating better images, they are cheaper and easier to produce.

This kind of penetration strikes into an ultrasound market that is expected to grow to about US$6.9 billion by 2020. It also assists to promote new medical techniques and research opportunities in health sciences such as surgery, and biotechnology.