Feasibility of Extracts of Common Philippine Succulents as Ultrasound Acoustic Gel Alternatives
Background. Ultrasound remains to be an ideal imaging tool for the diagnosis of various conditions in the body. However, the cost and unavailability of the commercial acoustic gel continue to hamper the tool’s diagnostic value in low-resource communities.
Objectives. The study aims to investigate the feasibility of extracts of common Philippine succulents as ultrasound acoustic gel, based on image quality parameters, organoleptic characteristics, spreadability, pH, and viscosity.
Methods. Aloe Vera, common houseleek, burro’s tail, snake plant, echeveria, crown of thorns, panda plant, and jade plant were extracted and filtered before subjecting them for a physical evaluation. The evaluation analyzed the organoleptic characteristics, spreadability, pH, and viscosity of the formulated gels. The commercial acoustic gel was used as the reference gel. Three experienced ultrasonographers blindly evaluated a total of 243 images obtained using the formulated gels based on four image quality parameters.
Results. The formulated gels had optimal appearance, texture, homogeneity, and pH value. However, all of the extracts had a lower viscosity than the commercial reference gel. The extract obtained from the burro’s tail exhibited the highest viscosity among the tested extracts. There was no significant difference in the image quality parameters among the commercial and formulated gels.
Conclusion. The extracts obtained from the succulents are feasible as an acoustic gel for ultrasound imaging based on the physical and image quality analyses. The tested plants are readily available and easy to produce compared to commercial acoustic gel.