Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

A bidimensional ultrasound imaging probe

A new prototype of a bidimensional (2-dimensional) ultrasound imaging probe has been developed with unrivalled performances. It has a real time multi-imaging mode, whilst the image quality offers the same contrast across the whole useful depth of field as at the exact focus point of the lens. The probe is usable for clinical evaluation. Its image enhancement implies an increased reliability of medical diagnoses. Within the design framework of the project a software simulation tool was developed to measure the performance of the probe. The simulation tool can be used for: prediction of the performance of array prototypes; better understanding of the influence of the various mechanical and electronic probe parameters; debugging purposes if the simulated behaviour does not resemble the behaviour of probe and electronics in practice. The functionality of the developed simulation tool is twofold: image simulation (calculation of the 2-dimensional broad-band image from a restricted number of objects); beam-pattern simulation (calculation of the one-way 3-dimensional monochromatic pressure field). In particular the newly defined object contrast parameter can be calculated by making use of the simulation tool. This Figure-of-Merit for the performance of any medical array supplements the existing main parameters used to qualify the array's performance (eg beam diameter and the grating lobe levels). It quantifies the contrast between an object of fixed size on the main axis and its surroundings and as such is closely related to the visibility of an object. In particular the contrast parameter facilitates the making of compromises between beam diameter and grating lobe levels, which impose conflicting demands on the design of the array. The object-contrast parameter can be very helpful for finding the optimal design of the array and the optimal settings for electronic focusing.

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TNO - Institute Of Applied Physics
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