A polypyrolle compound developed by an international research team converts ultrasound waves into optical signals that can be used to produce an image.
In the research study, polypyrolle, a conductive plastic, was compounded with gold nanorods, which generally are available in diameters from 10-50 nm. An optical signal transmitted into the plastics compound interacts with inbound ultrasound waves and then passes through. A specialized transducer reads the signal and converts it into an image.
"A high bandwidth allows you to sample the change of distance of the acoustic waves with a high precision," says Vladislav Yakovlev, a professor at Texas A&M University. "This translates into an image that shows greater detail. Greater sensitivity enables you to see deeper in tissue, suggesting we have the potential to generate images that might have previously not been possible with conventional ultrasound technology."...