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Sound scalpel

Scalpel that cuts with sound

As an alternative to similar imported products, researchers from the Physics Institute of São Carlos at the University of São Paulo (USP) and from the WEM company have developed a prototype of an ultrasonic scalpel expected to provide increased cutting accuracy for surgeons than traditional scalpels. In addition, patients will heal faster (USP Online). An electric signal transmitted to the scalpel activates a group of ceramics that generate the so-called reverse piezoelectric effect, by vibrating and producing movements at a frequency ranging from 50 thousand to 55 thousand hertz per second. This is much higher than the frequency detected by the human ear. A converter amplifies the acoustic power and generates a longitudinal vibration on the handle. This vibration decomposes the nearby proteins and tears the tissues. Designed to cut through the soft tissues, the device has a tip that resembles pliers. This tip holds the tissue while the scalpel cuts the tissue and cauterizes it.