Beijing: Scientists have developed a new device that can monitor blood flow to quickly diagnose strokes and treat them.
Stroke — one of the leading causes of death worldwide — occurs due to poor blood flow to the brain — a condition known as cerebral ischemia.
Its diagnosis must be done within the first few hours for treatment to be effective, researchers said.
This hybrid device, developed by researchers at the China Academy of Engineering Physics and Army Medical University in China, relies on a combination of two light measuring techniques which could diagnose cerebral ischemia non-invasively and faster than the techniques used currently.
“We can measure blood volume, blood oxygenation and blood flow using suitable near-infrared techniques,” said Liguo Zhu, from China Academy of Engineering Physics.
According to Zhu, the near-infrared light penetrates one to three centimeters which allows researchers to probe under the skin efficiently.
The working of the hybrid instrument relies on the combination of the near-infrared diffuse optical spectroscopy — which analyses the light scattered from the tissues to calculate the amount of oxygen and blood within an area — and the diffuse correlation spectroscopy — which analyses fluctuation in the tissue scattered lights — to measure blood flow.
“Both techniques share the same detectors, which decreases the number of detectors compared to other instruments,” said Zhu.
“The team’s device can record a comprehensive profile of a body part’s hemodynamic, or blood circulation. Devices should measure as many hemodynamic parameters’ as necessary to obtain an accurate diagnosis, as ‘the hemodynamics of stroke is complex’,” said Hua Feng, from Army Medical University.
Another advantage of this hybrid device is that it is affordable and compact, which makes it more accessible to the people, and hence, helps in faster treatment and diagnosis of stroke, researchers said.