Each year, around 15 million people worldwide seek medical attention for sports or in-house trauma (e.g. ankle sprain). Of these, 1 million people sustained cartilage damage, and demonstrate pain and disability as symptoms. This damage contributes to the onset of osteoarthritis, which poses a huge socioeconomic burden. For early identification and treatment, a precise diagnosis is of utmost importance. However, conventional MRI, CT or ultrasound (US) imaging are not suited for fast screening of all patients at risk due to their relatively long acquisition times and high costs, ionizing load, and inability to image all types of cartilage damage.
Our philosophy is to develop a new device for non-invasive, accurate and cost-effective cartilage tissue characterization using acoustic wave technology. This novel tool, Vibrant Vision, combines acoustic wave generation, mechanical loading, and ultrasonic sensing to quantify cartilage damage.
Focus on specific challenges
Challenges for wave propagation in joints are the following: to quantitatively detect the presence of any cartilage damage independent of its appearance, size, and location, prediction of the undamaged healthy joint space, selection of the optimal wave configuration, reducing disturbances cause by surrounding tissues. Examples of our solutions are found in the pictures and associated scientific papers in the blog roll of this project.
Grants & Awards
- 2014 ASPASIA grant from Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) Topic: Cartilage Instant Repair
- 2013 Open Technology Grant from Technology Foundation STW Topic: Vibrant Vision – An acoustic-wave-based technology for early diagnosis of cartilage damage
- 2012 Imtech/UfD award received by a group of 4 BSc students for their BSc-thesis research for ‘Detection of cartilage defects with ultrasound: a pilot study’
- 2011 Yggdrasil travel grant received by PhD student Aimee Kok for ‘Noninvasive imaging of cartilage and osteochondral defects using ultrasound’