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Ultrasound could be enhanced by metamaterial based acoustic hyperlens


Photo: Zhang Laboratory/UC Berkeley

In recent years researches have developed metamaterials to focus or bend light in diverse ways, but this is the first attempt to do the same with sound.

Nicholas Fang, a mechanical science and engineering professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says that acoustic hyperlenses could make it possible to see objects just a few micrometers in size. Currently, ultrasound scans have a resolution of a few millimeters, and even those are achieved by using short-wavelength, or high-energy, signals. "For better resolution, you dump more energy into the tissue or structure under inspection," Fang says. "[But] with more ultrasound energy, you're at risk of harming or destroying healthy tissue or healthy structures."


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