A new compact ultrasound-delivering device helps alleviate osteoarthritis of the knee.
An osteoarthritic knee has damaged joint surfaces, inflamation and swelling. This creates a stagnant environment. Just like a saturated sponge will not accept more water, the osteoarthritic joint is slow to soak up nutrients. However, ultrasound delivered at a low volume for a long time through a newly designed compact transducer agitates remaining cartilage and tissues. The ultrasound penetrates the joint and tissues. It stimulates the joint thermally and mechanically and improves permeability, creating a dynamic environment conducive to healing. Similar to a sponge that has been wrung out, the treated knee is now able to absorb nutrients. The waste is removed and swelling subsides.
Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation
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