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Pressure measurement using bubbles and ultrasounds

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2018-07
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2018-07-03
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Nowadays, many diseases provoke clots at unique or different points of the cardiovascular system. Sometimes these points where clots are generated cannot be accessible for surgeons since they present complexity at the time of interventions, as it occurs for instance, inside the brain or some other parts. These coagulations occur from preventing an excessive bleeding when vessels are injured. Proteins present in blood, will form a scaffold-like structure letting after platelets join it, in such a way it changes to a gel state. Normally, this clot is dissolved by the own organism once the blood vessel is healed. These clots usually occur in arteries or veins. These two kinds of vessels work together in carrying blood throughout all the cardiovascular system, but each one works differently, since they have different functionalities. Arteries, by definition, are those blood vessels which exit the heart in order to deliver blood to the whole body. Nevertheless, usually they carry oxygen-rich blood throughout the body. Due to all arteries exit the heart, they have strong walls which permit them supporting the high pressures created by the heart pump. In the other hand, veins are low-pressure vessels which all of them end at the heart. They usually deliver deoxygenated blood from the organs back to the heart. Therefore, when a clot is formed in a vein, could difficult the blood flow while returning to the heart provoking symptoms such as swelling or pain. An immobile clot normally does not become dangerous, but sometimes it breaks into several fractures which travel to a smaller vessel, collapsing it and preventing adequate blood flow. One of the biggest cardiovascular problems that can be caused by these, is DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis), which is a kind of clot usually presented in large extremity’s veins such as in the femoral vein. These clots sometimes detached from their original place where they have been formed, traveling throughout the body until they reach the lungs, in where these clots become wedged and provoking a pulmonary embolism, being extremely dangerous. New techniques such as UCAs (Ultrasound Contrast Agents) are being introduced to the field, consists in injecting through the bloodstream microbubbles in order to help imaging via ultrasounds. When these bubbles oscillate at its characteristic frequency performing harmonic resonance, pressure can be calculated at certain points in the circulatory system. This characteristic frequency is the result of insonating them with a certain pressure pulse. Regarding on the area of the body the bubble is located and the pressure, the resonant frequency will change.
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Cardiovascular system, Clots, Microbubbles, Ultrasounds, Circulatory system
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