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High-Resolution Large-Field-of-View Ultrasound Breast Imager

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Final rept. 1 Jun 2011-31 May 2014

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In this work, we sought to construct and test the first practical full-field transmission ultrasound breast imaging system. The system will ultimately have a large field-of-view capable of producing 2D images of the entire breast in near real-time. Because it uses a fixed imaging geometry that does not involve scanning, it will also circumvent the operator-dependence of conventional ultrasound imaging methods. The compact vertical design mimics the form factor of mammography systems and would provide a basis for later incorporation of an x-ray source and detector, which would allow for routine dual-modality x-ray and acoustic imaging for screening and diagnosis. The key component of the system is an acoustooptic AO sensor, a liquid crystal detector that converts acoustic intensity to an optically visible image. Our original design sought to use acoustic lenses to minify the acoustic image of the breast onto a small 2 inch acousto-optic sensor, since it was then challenging to make larger AO sensors. The acoustic lenses did not produce acceptable image quality. However, a technical breakthrough allowed for production of larger AO sensors. We concluded the project by building a prototype system with a 3-inch field of view, suitable for preliminary clinical testing, and larger fields of view will be achievable in the near future.

Subject Categories:

  • Medicine and Medical Research
  • Acoustooptic and Optoacoustic Devices
  • Acoustics

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