Physics in Medicine and Biology ; DOI:10.1088/0031-9155/58/18/6263
High intensity focused ultrasound in air may provide a means for medical and biological imaging without direct coupling of an ultrasound probe. In this study, an approach based on highly focused ultrasound in air is described and the feasibility of the technique is assessed. The overall method is based on the observations that (1) ultrasound in air has superior focusing ability and stronger nonlinear harmonic generation as compared to tissue propagation and (2) a tightly focused field directed into tissue causes point-like spreading that may be regarded as a source for generalized diffraction tomography. Simulations of a spherically-curved transducer are performed, where the transducer's radiation pattern is directed from air into tissue. It is predicted that a focal pressure of 162 dB (2.5 kPa) is sufficient to direct ultrasound through the body, and provide a small but measurable signal (~1 mPa) upon exit. Based on the simulations, a 20 cm diameter array consisting of 298 transducers is constructed. For this feasibility study, a 40 kHz resonance frequency is selected based on the commercial availability of such transducers. The array is used to focus through water and acrylic phantoms, and the time history of the exiting signal is evaluated. Sufficient data are acquired to demonstrate a low-resolution tomographic reconstruction. Finally, to demonstrate the feasibility to record a signal in vivo, a 75 mm × 55 mm section of a human hand is imaged in a C-mode configuration.
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Clinic Ultrasound Laboratory (クレメント超音波研究室)
Cleveland Clinic (クリーブランド・クリニック),
Lerner Research Institute
Case Western Reserve University