Ultrasound technology may no longer be used solely for medical imaging.  

Researchers from Drexel University are developing a battery-powered, watch-type device that uses low-frequency ultrasound technology to heal wounds.

Drexel University said the device “is the first portable and potentially wearable device to heal wounds with low-frequency ultrasound.”

It is undergoing clinical trials to determine how inflammation and nutrition affects wound closure. This may open doors for treatment customization.

The ultrasound technology functions at an energy level lower than that used for pregnancy monitoring. Specifically, it sends 20 kHz ultrasonic soundwaves directly to the wound. While the specific mechanisms of this technology are still being researched, it seems that ultrasound waves stimulate the body’s self-healing process. The ultrasound technology will also help monitor the blood flow to the wound.

 “Once the device is fully developed, the applicator may be applied directly to the wound using a thin piece of tegaderm, gel and medical tape. Then, with the flip of switch, the palm-sized battery pack is turned on, driving the set of transducers inside the device to create acoustic energy and begin the wound-healing process,” said Drexel University.

Because the device is small, portable, and light, it could be used for home healthcare.