Commercially available cardiac scanners use 64–128 elements phased-array (PA) probes and classical delay-and-sum beamforming to reconstruct a sector B-mode image. For portable and hand-held scanners, which are the fastest growing market, channel count reduction can greatly decrease the total power and cost of devices. The introduction of ultra-fast imaging methods based on plane waves and diverging waves provides new insight into heart’s moving structures and enables the implementation of new myocardial assessment and advanced flow estimation methods, thanks to much higher frame rates. The goal of this study was to show the feasibility of reducing the channel count in the diverging wave synthetic aperture image reconstruction method for phased-arrays. The application of ultra-fast 32-channel subaperture imaging combined with spatial compounding allowed the frame rate of approximately 400 fps for 120 mm visualization to be achieved with image quality obtained on par with the classical 64-channel beamformer. Specifically, it was shown that the proposed method resulted in image quality metrics (lateral resolution, contrast and contrast-to-noise ratio), for a visualization depth not exceeding 50 mm, that were comparable with the classical PA beamforming. For larger visualization depths (80–100 mm) a slight degradation of the above parameters was observed. In conclusion, diverging wave phased-array imaging with reduced number of channels is a promising technology for low-cost, energy efficient hand-held cardiac scanners.
A new ultrasound digital transcranial Doppler system (digiTDS) is introduced. The digiTDS enables diagnosis of intracranial vessels which are rather difficult to penetrate for standard systems. The device can display a color map of flow velocities (in time-depth domain) and a spectrogram of a Doppler signal obtained at particular depth. The system offers a multigate processing which allows to display a number of spectrograms simultaneously and to reconstruct a flow velocity profile. The digital signal processing in digiTDS is partitioned between hardware and software parts. The hardware part (based on FPGA) executes a signal demodulation and reduces data stream. The software part (PC) performs the Doppler processing and display tasks. The hardware-software partitioning allowed to build a flexible Doppler platform at a relatively low cost. The digiTDS design fulfills all necessary medical standards being a new useful tool in the transcranial field as well as in heart velocimetry research.
The use of therapeutic ultrasound continues to grow. A focused ultrasonic wave can increase the tissue temperature locally for the non-invasive cancer treatment or other medical applications. The authors have designed a seven-element annular array transducer operating at 2.4 MHz. Each element was excited by sine burst supplied by a linear amplifier and FPGA control circuits. The acoustic field, generated by a transducer was initially numerically simulated in a computer and next compared to water tank hydrophone measurements performed at 20, 40 and 60 mm focal depth. The results showed good agreement of the measurements with theory and the possibility to focus the ultrasound in the preselected area. The total acoustic power radiated by the annular array was equal to 2.4 W.