3:36 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

University of Michigan researching ultrasonic scalpel

Using tightly-focused sound waves, University of Michigan engineering researchers drilled a 150-micrometer hole in this confetti-sized artificial kidney stone.
Hyoung Won Baac University of Michigan

The University of Michigan is researching an ultrasound scalpel that can detach a single cancer cell from surrounding tissue. 

The team, led by Professor Jay Guo, found a way to change laser light into sound energy.  The technology works with pressure, rather than heat. 

Hyoung Won Baac worked on this project as a doctoral student.  He says the beam will allow surgeons to be extremely delicate because of its size. 

"Our hair is a single hair which is around 100 micrometer.  So our focal spot, the sound beam focus spot is actually smaller than that."

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