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Ultrasound Scanner for Volumetric-3D Abdominal Imaging

Ultrasonic scanner with rotational motor arms to obtain volumetric-3D images


the problem

Current medical imaging options for pediatric patients are not optimal in terms of safety, comfort, speed, quality, and cost.

At Stanford Ultrasound Lab, we’re currently developing a prototype ultrasound body scanner to address the need for a better clinical imaging solution for pediatric patients-one that quickly and comfortably captures high-resolution, volumetric 3D images of full sections of the body at low cost and without the use of ionizing radiation.

the solution

Synthetic Aperture Ultrasound (SAU) Imaging is an advanced form of imaging technology used to form high-resolution images in biomedical ultrasound systems.

Compared with the conventional ultrasound image formation where one transducer or linear array is used, SAU imaging has achieved higher lateral resolution and deeper penetration, which will enable a more accurate diagnosis in medical applications, with no obvious loss in frame rate and without a large burden in computational complexities.

the results

Using a VMX motor controller with an interface in Matlab via serial port, the Verasonics scanner moves two 128-elements 1.5MHz transducer arrays to acquire all Tx/Rx pairs (positions) over 180° span.

This motor-control routine with Tx/Rx RF data acquisition transmits an ultrasound wave by each small group of all array elements in turn, receive a signal using all possible receive array units, and then reconstruct the image by weighted summation of all demodulated received recordings.

the next steps

After making the proof-of-concept and validating the initial idea, there are several steps the lab is going to continue implementing for this project:

  • Custom Array & Apparatus Fabrication
  • Assembly & Integration
  • Full Wave Inversion Recognition
  • Acoustic Safety Testing
  • Pilot Study: 10 volunteers