News | December 15, 2014

New Technique Allows Ultrasound to Penetrate Bone, Metal

Technique can be used for ultrasound imaging, as well as therapeutically

ultrasound

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique that allows ultrasound to penetrate bone or metal, using customized structures that offset the distortion usually caused by these so-called \"aberrating layers.\"

Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique that allows ultrasound to penetrate bone or metal, using customized structures that offset the distortion usually caused by these so-called "aberrating layers."

"We've designed complementary metamaterials that will make it easier for medical professionals to use ultrasound for diagnostic or therapeutic applications, such as monitoring blood flow in the brain or to treat brain tumors," said Tarry Chen Shen, a Ph.D. student at NC State and lead author of a paper on the work. "This has been difficult in the past because the skull distorts the ultrasound's acoustic field."

"These metamaterials could also be used in industrial settings," said Yun Jing, Ph.D., an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at NC State and senior author of the paper. "For example, it would allow you to use ultrasound to detect cracks in airplane wings under the wing's metal 'skin.'"

Ultrasound imaging works by emitting high frequency acoustic waves. When those waves bounce off an object, they return to the ultrasound equipment, which translates the waves into an image. But some materials, such as bone or metal, have physical characteristics that block or distort ultrasound's acoustic waves. These materials are called aberrating layers. The researchers addressed this problem by designing customized metamaterial structures that take into account the acoustic properties of the aberrating layer and offsetting them. The metamaterial structure uses a series of membranes and small tubes to achieve the desired acoustic characteristics.

The researchers tested the technique using computer simulations and are in the process of developing and testing a physical prototype.

In simulations, only 28 percent of ultrasound wave energy makes it past an aberrating layer of bone when the metamaterial structure is not in place. But with the metamaterial structure, the simulation shows that 88 percent of ultrasound wave energy passes through the aberrating layer. "In effect, it's as if the aberrating layer isn't even there," Jing said.

 

Related Content

New Robotic Arm System Optimizes Testing of Ultrasound Probes

Image courtesy of Esaote

News | Ultrasound Imaging | November 09, 2018
Medical imaging company Esaote and The BioRobotics Institute of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna in Pisa, Italy, have...
The Acuson Sequoia

The Acuson Sequoia from Siemens Healthineers.

Feature | Ultrasound Imaging | November 05, 2018 | By Jeff Zagoudis
As the world’s most utilized medical imaging modality, ultrasound is likely to be featured heavily at the 2018...
Fujifilm SonoSite Launches New Point-of-Care Ultrasound Educational Resources
News | Ultrasound Imaging | November 01, 2018
Fujifilm SonoSite Inc. announced the launch of its redesigned SonoSite Institute, a comprehensive online educational...
Vygon and Sonoscanner Partnering on New Ultrasound System for Catheter Placement Guidance
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | October 31, 2018
Vygon, an international group specialized in single-use medical devices, and French company Sonoscanner announced the...
Cardiac Ultrasound Software Streamlines Fetal Heart Exams
Feature | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | October 30, 2018
A new tool called fetalHQ on GE Healthcare’s Voluson ultrasound systems is the first tool to simultaneously examine the...
Hitachi Supports ASE Foundation Cardiovascular Outreach Mission in West Virginia
News | Cardiovascular Ultrasound | October 29, 2018
Hitachi Healthcare Americas participated in the cardiovascular screening and diagnostic triage event that took place...
Philips Debuts Integrated Breast Ultrasound Solution
News | Ultrasound Women's Health | October 26, 2018
Philips announced what it calls its ultimate ultrasound solution for breast assessment, available with the Philips Epiq...
Samsung Unveils New HERA Ultrasound Systems at ISUOG World Congress 2018

The HERA I10 ultrasound system on display at the ISUOG World Congress 2018. Image courtesy of Samsung Medison.

News | Ultrasound Imaging | October 24, 2018
Samsung Electronics affiliate Samsung Medison is showcasing its new generation of premium ultrasound systems — the HERA...
Nanosonics Trophon2 High Level Disinfection System Available in U.S. and Canada
Technology | Ultrasound Imaging | October 17, 2018
October 17, 2018 — Nanosonics announced the commercial availability of its Trophon2 high level disinfection (HLD) sys
Canon Medical Launches Healthy Sonographer Program
News | Ultrasound Imaging | October 10, 2018
Canon Medical Systems USA Inc. launched an all-new program designed to help reduce the leading causes of pain and...