Siemens has signed a contract with DARPA to develop a battlefield wound dressing with an embedded ultrasound device, capable of tuning itself somewhere near the resonant frequency of blood. The technology promises to stimulate coagulation around an injury, stabilizing the wound for further treatment. This is not the first time we see an acoustic coagulation system being entertained by DARPA, as previously we’ve reported on a very similar project between the defense agency and Philips.
Here’s what Siemens says about this new project:
… Siemens has entered into an exclusive government contract today with the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a prototype Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation cuff (DBAC), a life-saving ultrasound device limiting blood loss and shock resulting from combat limb injuries. Partners at the University of Washington’s Center for Industrial and Medical Ultrasound (UW), the Texas A&M University’s Institute for Preclinical Studies (TIPS) and Siemens Corporate Research (SCR) will work together with Siemens Healthcare to achieve DARPA’s goal of producing a prototype in 18 months…
The cuff is designed to limit blood loss from penetrating wounds to limbs in fast and slow bleeders, significantly reducing the risk of limb loss and death resulting from irreversible hemorrhagic shock. Once applied to the limb, Siemens Silicon Ultrasound technology within the cuff automatically detects the location and severity of the bleeding within the limb. This triggers therapeutic ultrasound elements within the cuff to emit and focus high-power energy toward the bleeding sites, speeding coagulation and halting bleeding at the injury site. The device is intended for use by minimally-trained operators, curtailing bleeding in a minimal amount of time with automatic treatment and power shut-off.
"We are very excited to leverage advanced technologies of Siemens Ultrasound such as real-time volumetric imaging and Silicon transducers to realize DARPA’s vision for saving lives on the battlefield," said Richard Chiao, VP of Siemens Healthcare’s Ultrasound Innovation Group. "We believe technologies developed for this new therapeutic application of ultrasound will also benefit civilian care in the future."
Aside from its use of advanced medical technologies, the cuff’s use in the field requires a compact, lightweight design with highly integrated electronics. Built with versatility in mind, the cuff is capable of accommodating a variety of limbs ranging from the wide male thigh to the slender female arm.
"We are eager to participate in this exciting program", noted Lawrence A. Crum, Research Professor and Principal Investigator of the University of Washington effort. "This unique technology offers a real opportunity to address a major problem in battlefield trauma."
"The challenge of applying our extensive animal modeling expertise to develop this potentially life-saving technology is exciting", noted Matthew W. Miller, DVM, Professor of Cardiology and Associate Director for Research at TIPS. "The opportunity to work closely with talented colleagues at SCR and UW will ensure that the likelihood of success is maximized."
The team will be working in collaboration with future users of the technology to maximize its potential, including the Combat Casualty Care Group at the US Army Medical Research and Material Command, surgeons from the Madigan Army Medical Center, and the US Army Institute for Surgical Research.
Project page: Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation
Flashbacks: Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation, aka Autonomous Acoustic Hemostasis; Deep Bleeder Acoustic Coagulation; The Battle Against Bleeding
(hat tip: Crave)