System and method for applying physiotherapeutic focused ultrasound

G.Portilla Tuesta, F.Montero de Espinosa
Ultrasonics Volume 121, April 2022, 106693

Despite many years of clinical use of ultrasound, the results of different reviews of controlled trials on the efficacy of ultrasound physical therapy for different musculoskeletal injuries continue to question its efficacy.

However, “in vitro” experiments with well-controlled cell cultures and experiments with animal models show positive results. The question is whether the commercial systems used by physiotherapists can deliver the required ultrasonic dose to the exact location on the body.

The object of this work is the design, realization and testing of a new concept of ultrasound system for Physiotherapy capable of focusing the ultrasound beam to apply the required ultrasonic energy dose at the point targeted by the physiotherapist. The system is designed for non-thermal effects Physiotherapy. The system consists of conceptually new piezocomposite arrays with a metallic delay line, multi-pulser electronics for emission focusing, parallel robots for mechanical steering and positioning of the array transducers, and linear and angular encoders to allow the physiotherapist to direct the focus to the target.

The multi-pulser and parallel robot angulation are controlled by the computer, using a graphical interface software.

 

Acknowledgements. The authors acknowledge support from the Spanish Research Agency- Ministry of Sciencie and Innovation-, grant number DPI2016-80254-R.