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In collaboration with Dr. Xiaoning Jiang’s lab in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NC State, Dr. Paul Dayton’s lab has developed a new ultrasound device that may aid in detecting risk for heart attack and stroke. The device helps to identify vulnerable arterial plaque, or plaque that is at an increased risk of breaking off and causing either a heart attack or stroke. Current technologies are able to assess if plaque is present within arteries but lacks the capability of determining if the plaque is vulnerable. This limitation of current technology makes it difficult to determine a patient’s true risk for a stroke or heart attack.  Dayton and Jiang’s device works in coordination with contrast agents called “microbubbbles” to identify vulnerable plaque. Their research appears in the May issue of IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics under the title “A preliminary engineering design of intravasecular dual-frequency transducers for contrast enhanced acoustic angiography and molecular imaging.” Congratulations to both Dr. Dayton and BME Ph.D. student Heath Martin, a co-author on the paper, on their well deserved press in UNC Healthcare News.

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