Three dimensional (3D) ultrasound imaging is becoming a standard mode for medical ultrasound diagnoses.
Conventional 3D ultrasound imaging is mostly scanned either by using a two dimensional matrix array or by motorizing
a one dimensional array in the elevation direction. However, the former system is not widely assessable due to its cost,
and the latter one has limited resolution and field-of-view in the elevation axis. Here, we propose a 3D ultrasound
imaging system based on the synthetic tracked aperture approach, in which a robotic arm is used to provide accurate
tracking and motion. While the ultrasound probe is moved by a robotic arm, each probe position is tracked and can be
used to reconstruct a wider field-of-view as there are no physical barriers that restrict the elevational scanning. At the
same time, synthetic aperture beamforming provides a better resolution in the elevation axis. To synthesize the
elevational information, the single focal point is regarded as the virtual element, and forward and backward delay-andsum
are applied to the radio-frequency (RF) data collected through the volume. The concept is experimentally validated
using a general ultrasound phantom, and the elevational resolution improvement of 2.54 and 2.13 times was measured at
the target depths of 20 mm and 110 mm, respectively.
Haichong K. Zhang, Ting Yun Fang, Rodolfo Finocchi, and Emad M. Boctor, "High resolution three-dimensional robotic synthetic tracked aperture ultrasound imaging: feasibility study," Proc. SPIE 10139, Medical Imaging 2017: Ultrasonic Imaging and Tomography, 1013914 (Presented at SPIE Medical Imaging: February 17, 2017; Published: 13 March 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2254707.
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