An Ultrasound Matrix Transducer for High-Frame-Rate 3-D Intra-cardiac Echocardiography

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Abstract

Objective: Described here is the development of an ultrasound matrix transducer prototype for high-frame-rate 3-D intra-cardiac echocardiography. Methods: The matrix array consists of 16 × 18 lead zirconate titanate elements with a pitch of 160 µm × 160 µm built on top of an application-specific integrated circuit that generates transmission signals and digitizes the received signals. To reduce the number of cables in the catheter to a feasible number, we implement subarray beamforming and digitization in receive and use a combination of time-division multiplexing and pulse amplitude modulation data transmission, achieving an 18-fold reduction. The proposed imaging scheme employs seven fan-shaped diverging transmit beams operating at a pulse repetition frequency of 7.7 kHz to obtain a high frame rate. The performance of the prototype is characterized, and its functionality is fully verified. Results: The transducer exhibits a transmit efficiency of 28 Pa/V at 5 cm per element and a bandwidth of 60% in transmission. In receive, a dynamic range of 80 dB is measured with a minimum detectable pressure of 10 Pa per element. The element yield of the prototype is 98%, indicating the efficacy of the manufacturing process. The transducer is capable of imaging at a frame rate of up to 1000 volumes/s and is intended to cover a volume of 70° × 70° × 10 cm. Conclusion: These advanced imaging capabilities have the potential to support complex interventional procedures and enable full-volumetric flow, tissue, and electromechanical wave tracking in the heart.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Volume50
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2024

Keywords

  • Application-specific integrated circuit
  • High frame rate
  • Intra-cardiac echocardiography
  • Matrix array
  • Three-dimensional
  • Ultrasound transducer

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