Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have developed an ultrasonic action needle that allows a large amount of tissue to be recovered during a biopsy, without the pain or complications associated with using larger needles. The technique can be very useful when physicians need to obtain tissue samples for the diagnosis of molecular tumors, as it is crucial to obtain high-quality samples, given the costs of molecular profiling procedures. The technique can also help reduce patient discomfort associated with repeated biopsies due to an initial sample of poor tissue.
“The performance of the biopsy (the amount of tissue extracted) is often inadequate, with some studies showing that up to a third of fine-needle biopsies struggle to get enough tissue for a reliable diagnosis,” said Professor Heikki Nieminen, researcher involved in the study. , in an Aalto ad. “A biopsy can be painful and waiting for the results of a diagnostic test can be a very distressing time for the patient and their family, especially if the diagnosis needs re-biopsies to be conclusive. We wanted to make the procedure smoother for the patient. patient and increase the certainty that the test will be able to give us an answer in the first attempt ”.
One of the problems with biopsies is the need to use wide-hole needles to make sure enough tissue is obtained for the necessary diagnostic tests. “They’re painful for the patient and can also cause bleeding – you don’t want to use a basic needle unless you have to,” said Kenneth Pritzker, another researcher who worked on the new device. “At body temperature, human tissue exists as something that behaves partially between being a solid and a liquid. The breakthrough here is that by making the tip of the needle vibrate by ultrasound, we can make the tissue flow more like a liquid, which allows us to extract more through a narrow needle.
The device can house a conventional syringe with a fine needle. It can then vibrate the tip of the needle approximately 30,000 times per second. Vibrations cause the tissue to behave more like a liquid and therefore more tissue can enter the fine needle. “Vibrations provide energy to the tissue to make it more fluid,” said Emanuele Perra, a third researcher involved in the study. “The vibrations are located only at the tip, so it does not affect any other tissue except a small region around the needle. We have been able to show that ultrasound vibrations increase the performance of the biopsy by 3 to 6 times. compared to the same needle without ultrasound, which was even bigger than we expected. “
Here is a video that demonstrates a comparison between a conventional biopsy needle and an ultrasonic one:
Study a Scientific reports: The ultrasonic action of a fine needle improves the performance of the biopsy
Via: University of Aalto