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Technical Discussions
Daryl
Daryl
20:40 Mar-19-2020
Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application

Hi all,
I ended up here while researching an off-the-shelf ultrasonic system for biomedical experiment I am doing for my startup. I was a medical device engineer before, mostly in optical devices, but quite a newbie in ultrasonics.

I am thinking using a ultrasonic flaw detector like Sonotron NDT's utPOD to A-scan urinary bladder. I don't see a huge safety risk at the moment, but since I haven't used or haven't worked with such detector, I am not quite sure if it's a wise thing to do. Also, since it's quite bit of financial investment, I'd like to ask you guys who have experiences whether it's a total nonsense or not.

Best,
Daryl

 
 Reply 
 
Wieslaw Bicz
Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o., Poland, Joined Feb 2009, 271

Wieslaw Bicz

Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o.,
Poland,
Joined Feb 2009
271
23:40 Mar-19-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Daryl at 20:40 Mar-19-2020 (Opening).

You can naturally use ultrasonic flaw detector for such application, but it will be cheaper and more useful to use devices, that are more universal and can be used in connection with a PC (laptop), that is much more convenient, since you can make your own software perfectly suitable for your application. I can offer you our OPBOX, that is described here: http://www.optel.eu/manual/english/opbox21.html
Many people are using this device for medical applications and for many other scientific experiments, not only for NDT.
If you are interested, I can make you an offer.

 
 Reply 
 
Daryl
,
USA, Joined Mar 2020, 3

Daryl

,
USA,
Joined Mar 2020
3
14:40 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Wieslaw Bicz at 23:40 Mar-19-2020 .

Hi Wieslaw, thanks for your reply. Optel came across when I was researching. I will contact you via your email. Thanks. Daryl

 
 Reply 
 
Dana Todd
Director,
Vermon NDT, USA, Joined Jan 2020, 1

Dana Todd

Director,
Vermon NDT,
USA,
Joined Jan 2020
1
15:10 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Wieslaw Bicz at 23:40 Mar-19-2020 .

Medical ultrasound probes are required to go through a Hi-Pot test to insure that they are insulated enough so as to not cause shock to a patient. NDT probes do not have this requirement. So there is a safety issue if you are thinking of using an NDT probe. The risk of shock to the patient is low, but not zero.

 
 Reply 
 
Daryl
,
USA, Joined Mar 2020, 3

Daryl

,
USA,
Joined Mar 2020
3
15:33 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Dana Todd at 15:10 Mar-20-2020 .

Hi Dana, thanks so much for your reply. It's great to know different requirement for NDT and medical probes. Thanks! Daryl

 
 Reply 
 
Wiesław Bicz
Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o., Poland, Joined Feb 2009, 271

Wiesław Bicz

Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o.,
Poland,
Joined Feb 2009
271
16:33 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Dana Todd at 15:10 Mar-20-2020 .

This is true, but even very bad probe can be easily isolated. In reality even very high pulse voltage, that is used in NDT devices (seldom more than 1000 V) is not dangerous since the pulses are very short - mostly much shorter than 100 microseconds. You can feel such pulse, but even if apply such pulse directly to your skin it is as dangerous as electrostatic discharge on clothes or even not so bad. I have tested this personally many times.

1
 
 Reply 
 
Rick MacNeil
Engineering,
Innovation Polymers, Canada, Joined Nov 2014, 1

Rick MacNeil

Engineering,
Innovation Polymers,
Canada,
Joined Nov 2014
1
17:07 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Wiesław Bicz at 16:33 Mar-20-2020 .

Innovation Polymers is currently supplying moulded probes to the medical industry using our Aqualene material if you are interested.

 
 Reply 
 
Daniel Braun
Daniel Braun
20:14 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Daryl at 20:40 Mar-19-2020 (Opening).

you should use the probe, which is applicable to the medical applications

1. The acoustic power transmitted to patient should not exceed the allowance limit - it is necessary to verify the absolute power using calibrated hydrophone, there are special regulations on the topic.

2. ISONIC utPod has 300 Vpp bipolar square wave pulser - in most cases the acoustic power produced with such excitation exceeds the allowance limit for the medical applications. 300 Vpp corresponds to maximal grade 12 of 12 in that unit, you should go down to grade 6...8, not higher

3. The probe and its cable should be isolated electrically at very high degree

4. If powering the ultrasonic instrument from mains - this should be performed through isolating transformer

1
 
 Reply 
 
Daryl
,
USA, Joined Mar 2020, 3

Daryl

,
USA,
Joined Mar 2020
3
21:14 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Daniel Braun at 20:14 Mar-20-2020 .

Hi Daniel,
Thanks so much for your reply. I have some experience with leakage test and using isolating transformer, but regarding to your points 1 & 2.

1. The acoustic power transmitted to patient should not exceed the allowance limit - it is necessary to verify the absolute power using calibrated hydrophone, there are special regulations on the topic.

2. ISONIC utPod has 300 Vpp bipolar square wave pulser - in most cases the acoustic power produced with such excitation exceeds the allowance limit for the medical applications. 300 Vpp corresponds to maximal grade 12 of 12 in that unit, you should go down to grade 6...8, not higher

Is NEMA UD 2-2004 (R2009) an accepted standard for acoustic output measurement or is there more accepted one by industry?

This 12-scale grade in your point 2 - would you share further info on this? like a link?

Thanks!
Daryl

 
 Reply 
 
Daniel Braun
Daniel Braun
22:33 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Daryl at 21:14 Mar-20-2020 .

Regarding the standard for acoustic output measurements - there are several documents - you should get consulted with the medical engineering and safety staff which one should be applied and what is the allowance limit

as for 12 grades: the amplitude of the initial pulse is controllable in the ISONIC utPod - there are 12 levels -refer to paragraph 5.3.3 at http://www.sonotronndt.com/PDF/OM_utPod/ISONIC_utPod_OM.pdf

Level 12 corresponds to 300 Vpp, which was found too high by the users who utilized ISONIC utPod for some kinds of medical applications - they did realize the same at the stage of getting permissions for trials on the patients; empirically it was found that firing level 6...8 and below to produce the acoustical output not exceeding the maximal allowance limit with their probes

1
 
 Reply 
 
Wieslaw Bicz
Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o., Poland, Joined Feb 2009, 271

Wieslaw Bicz

Engineering,
PBP Optel sp. z o.o.,
Poland,
Joined Feb 2009
271
23:32 Mar-20-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Daniel Braun at 22:33 Mar-20-2020 .

You are correct, that commercial medical devices should obey some restrictive norms, that are normally very conservative. There are many reasons for such restrictions, that are easy to understand.
The situation is fully different, if you want to make experiments and are aware, what are you doing and using, especially on your own body. With typical equipment for ultrasonic testing, that uses short pulses (shorter than 0.5 microsecond) or bursts with small power you cannot really hurt your or other people body, because the energy, that you can generate with such devices will never reach levels, that are close to dangerous. And since the pulses are short, even direct exposition to the voltage generated by such devices will not really cause harm - such short pulses are not able to do it.
It is a bit different situation with phased arrays and special devices used for example for concrete testing and other similar, that generate much higher voltage and much stronger pulses. It could be eventually the case, if you want to use very large focused transducers or extremely high PRF (many kHz).
The opinion, that the excitation with 300 V can be too high can be only true for some concrete case, but normally this will depend on transducer used.
Everybody, who is thinking about safety concerns with using ultrasound in medical application should know, that - after many years of research there is still not fully clear where is the border, that should be not crossed to avoid harm. The norms are based on very conservative assumptions.
If somebody is interested in such research, I would recommend to read the book, that is now freely available: https://www.birpublications.org/pb/assets/raw/Books/SUoU_3rdEd/Safe_Use_of_Ultrasound.pdf.

2
 
 Reply 
 
Daniel Braun
Daniel Braun
00:51 Mar-21-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Wieslaw Bicz at 23:32 Mar-20-2020 .

of course Pulser + Probe do produce the acoustic output, the same was noted by me but we had quite sufficient number of users who tried various medical applications and returned to us with the conclusion about the need of reducing firing level from the highest possible one (12) to something "in the middle" (6...8)

1
 
 Reply 
 
J.B.
J.B.
17:45 Mar-23-2020
Re: Using ultrasonic flaw detector for biomedical application
In Reply to Daniel Braun at 00:51 Mar-21-2020 .

As you have selected the utPOD from Sonotron this was not(!!!) stupid. Sobotron is also working in the medical field.
My advice is: talk with Garry Passi, CEO of Sonotron, about your task, he is a real heipful colleague, and knows both application wrolds: NDT & Medical.
utPOD is -as fas i know - remote controllable by USB port. And the utPOD is a rather cheap device. Comparable with USMgo.

Call Garry

 
 Reply 
 

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