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30 May 2001 High-frequency synthetic ultrasound array incorporating an actuator
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Ultrasound imaging at frequencies above 20 MHz relies almost exclusively on single-element transducers. IN order to apply array technology at these frequencies, several practical problems must be solved, including spatial scale and fabrication limitations, low device capacitance, and lack of a hardware beamformer. One method of circumventing these problems is to combine an array, an actuator, and a synthetic aperture software beamformer. The array can use relatively wide elements spaced on a coarse pitch. The actuator is used to move the array in short steps (less than the element pitch), and pulse-echo data is acquired at intermediate sample positions. The synthetic aperture beamformer reconstructs the image from the pulse-echo data. A 50 MHz example is analyzed in detail. Estimates of signal-to-noise reveal performance comparable to a standard phased array; furthermore, the actuated array requires half the number of elements, the elements are 8x wider, and only one channel is required. Simulated three-dimensional point spread functions demonstrate side lobe levels approaching - 40dB and main beam widths of 50 to 100 microns. A 50 MHz piezo-composite array design has been tested which displays experimental bandwidth of 70% while maintaining high sensitivity. Individual composite sub-elements are 18 microns wide. Once this array is integrated with a suitable actuator, it is anticipated that a tractable method of imaging with high frequency arrays will result.
© (2001) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Timothy A. Ritter, Thomas R. Shrout, and K. Kirk Shung "High-frequency synthetic ultrasound array incorporating an actuator", Proc. SPIE 4325, Medical Imaging 2001: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing, (30 May 2001);

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