Medical ultrasound imaging is a well-established and rapidly growing imaging modality. It is valuable for diagnosis in many areas of the body. In the heart, it can provide information about valve motion, blood flow, and ventricular wall motion. In the liver, the detection of metastases, cysts, masses, and abnormal flows is possible. In obstetrics, it is useful for determining fetal age and fetal abnormalities. In neurovascular imaging, ultrasound is important in assessing the condition of the carotid arteries to determine whether surgical intervention is appropriate. The list goes on and on. As the technology of ultrasound improves - and it is doing so very quickly - more applications are being found and implemented. The pace of innovation in ultrasound imaging has increased significantly in recent years due to advances in materials technologies, electronics, and signal processing. In this section we present some of the background of ultrasound development and the basic physical concepts underlying its operation and development.
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