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MRI-compatible ultrasound system for increased flexibility

Clicks:Updated:2018-07-25 17:07:31

MRI-compatible ultrasound system for increased flexibility
New ultrasound prototypes that utilize optical systems rather than electronic systems can provide the flexibility to pair modalities with other imaging techniques, such as MRI. Experts say it can provide doctors with more options for using ultrasound to diagnose and treat patients.
 
Under the leadership of Erwin J. Alles and University College London, the researchers created an all-optical ultrasound system that uses beam scanning mirrors to create real-time 2D images of video rates. According to the Optical Society's press release, users can switch between modes to capture different ultrasound image types, which is usually done using a separate dedicated probe.
 
MRI-compatible ultrasound
 
“The all-optical ultrasound imaging probe has the potential to revolutionize image-guided interventions,” Alles said at the press conference. "The lack of electronic devices and the resulting MRI compatibility will allow true multimodal image guidance, and detectors may be only a fraction of the cost of traditional electronic counterparts."
 
The team tested their machines on dead zebrafish and pig arteries that were manipulated to mimic the kinetics of pulsating blood. The results, published in Biomedical Optics Express, show that imaging capabilities are comparable to electronic high-frequency ultrasound systems. It achieves a sustained frame rate of 15 Hz, a dynamic range of 30 decibels, a penetration depth of 6 mm and a resolution of 75 x 100 microns.
 
Previously, the team used all-optical ultrasound to create 2D and 3D images, but the method took hours. The researchers pointed out that the new system is faster and clearer.
 
"By combining new imaging paradigms, new optical ultrasound generation materials, optimized ultrasound source geometry and high-sensitivity fiber-optic ultrasound detectors, we achieve image frame rates three orders of magnitude faster than current. This is art," Alles said.
 
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