Biological effects of diagnostic ultrasound on embryo in first trimester of pregnancy

Biological effects of diagnostic ultrasound on embryo in first trimester of pregnancy

When ultrasound passes through certain types of enzymes, depending on the mechanism of reaction involved, it can impart energy.  This energy leads to altered chemical reaction rates (increase/decrease in how many chemical reactions occur given in a certain timeframe).

This has been noted in alpha-amylase and other glycoside hydrolase class enzymes, and also some enzymes involved in transesterification.

Diagnostic ultrasound — which is used for fetal imaging — can alter enzyme activity, too.

In plants, the way ultrasound affects enzymes can change the plant’s lifelong development. Exposure to ultrasound at seed super charges enzymes involved in breaking down starch into nutrients, which is important for the first developing seedling.

It has not been studied how ultrasound’s impact on enzymes affects human development. It should be. We need more research to ensure that routine fetal scanning is not causing unintended harm.


SpikeTV show Manswers features ultrasound for male contraception, good laughs for me.

00:00:03 To find out how to dilute a man’s knock-up sauce without permanent damage, we asked the doctor.
00:00:09 – If men are engaging in unprotected sex, they might want to be temporarily infertile.
00:00:15 announcer: SO How can they do that?
00:00:17 A man could try blasting his sack with an ultrasound machine.
00:00:21 According to the university of north carolina, zapping a bro’s crotch with ultrasound waves for just ten minutes could kill his sperm for up to six months!
00:00:31 But there’s a catch.
00:00:32 Hitting some high notes on his tweeter can close his sperm tube permanently.
00:00:37 both: AH!

I saw this recently on SpikeTV and it had me cracking up hard enough that I had to share it.

I visited the ultrasound labs at UNC Chapel Hill personally and met several people who worked there.  I am concerned that ultrasound use on gonads would change hormone levels in adults.  In the literature, there is evidence that ultrasound exposure to rat gonads alters their testosterone levels … reference:

Brain cancer? Mental illness? Ultrasound offers hope for new, better cures.

Brain cancer?  Mental illness?  Ultrasound offers hope new, better cures.. :)

We can only use 5% of all the types of medicine available for treating brain diseases. Psychiatric problems, brain cancers, etc. .. all notoriously difficult to treat because medicine can’t even get to the brain in the first place.

A structure called the blood brain barrier protects it.

A few decades ago, it was first discovered that when ultrasound is used following injection of tiny silica bubbles into the blood stream, that the bubbles jiggle around just right to cut tiny holes in the barrier.

The holes are microns in diameter. They are small enough to not cause serious damage, and heal up in 48 hours.

Not large enough to cause harm, but large enough to get medicine through …

They recently dusted off the old books and started optimizing this technique to make it available for human use.

Sounds like a great start!!