Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Rewriting Life

Ultrasonic Tourniquet

Waves to stop battlefield bleeding

A proposed lifesaving cuff would use sound to cauterize a bleeding blood vessel on the battlefield. The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) earlier this year launched a four-year project to develop such a device, which would use ordinary ultrasound imaging technology to detect a broken vessel and intensely focused ultrasound to effectively seal its ends with heat. Much of the vessel would remain unharmed, thanks to the cooling effect of the blood inside it. Seattle-based Therus has been developing a similar system to seal punctures in the femoral artery that result from catheterizations. And high-intensity ultrasound technology is already approved in some parts of the world to ablate prostate tumors. The challenge: getting everything working in one small, rugged instrument.

A cuff designed to stop battlefield bleeding. (Courtesy of Phillips Research)
More from Rewriting Life

Reprogramming our bodies to make us healthier.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.
  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus the digital magazine, extensive archive, ad-free web experience, and discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events.

    See details+

    Print + Digital Magazine (6 bi-monthly issues)

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

    Technology Review PDF magazine archive, including articles, images, and covers dating back to 1899

    10% Discount to MIT Technology Review events and MIT Press

    Ad-free website experience

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.