The technology promises a wide array of applications, including medical applications such as ultra-precise medical imaging, diagnostic techniques using ultrasound, incision-free surgical techniques, and even the potential for a method of recharging the batteries of implanted devices like pacemakers without performing surgery.
Dr. Alexander Sutin, an acoustics expert and senior scientist at Stevens Institute of Technology (Hoboken, NJ), is a co-author of six papers to be presented at the Acoustical Society of America's 75th Anniversary Meeting in May 2004 (New York City). Four of the papers address time-reversal acoustics systems that have potential breakthrough applications in medicine, nondestructive testing and land mine detection.
"Almost all acousticians think that time-reversal acoustics is the hottest topic in acoustics," says Dr. Sutin.
One area of his team's medical research involves a kind of "virtual finger" that could focus on an area inside the body much more precisely than any other known method. One of the challenges of imaging the human body or targeting tumors or gall stones non-surgically is that the body is not homogenous tissues, fat and bone vary in density so most ultrasound signals become distorted. The beauty of time-reversal acoustics (TRA), however, is that the technology works even more precisely in an environment that has lots of ultrasound-distorting obstacles. Difficult environments like the human body actually improve the focusing of ultrasounds to a specific location, sharpening the focus and enhancing p
Contact: Cass Bruton-Ward
Stevens Institute of Technology