Application-specific Integrated Circuit for Flexible Three-dimensional Ultrasound

Technology #16440

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Inventors
Professor Charles Sodini
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
External Link (www-mtl.mit.edu)
Kailiang Chen
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT
Managed By
Ben Rockney
MIT Technology Licensing Officer
Patent Protection

Application specific integrated circuit with column-row-parallel architecture for ultrasonic imaging

US Patent Pending US 2015-0087991
Publications
A Column-Row-Parallel Ultrasound Imaging Architecture for 3D Plane-wave Imaging and Tx 2nd-Order Harmonic Distortion (HD2) Reduction
IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, Sep. 2014
A Column-Row-Parallel ASIC Architecture for 3D Wearable / Portable Medical Ultrasonic Imaging
IEEE Symposium on VLSI Circuits, Jun. 2014
Ultrasonic Imaging Transceiver Design for CMUT: A 3-Level 30Vpp Pulse-Shaping Pulser with Improved Efficiency and a Noise-Optimized Receiver
IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, Vol. 48, Issue 11, Nov. 2013
Ultrasonic Imaging Front-End Design for CMUT: A 3-Level 30Vpp Pulse-Shaping Pulser with Improved Efficiency and a Noise-Optimized Receiver
IEEE Asian Solid-State Circuits Conference, Nov. 2012
System Energy Model for a Digital Ultrasound Beamformer with Image Quality Control
IEEE Ultrasonics Symposium, Oct. 2012

Applications

This technology can be used for three-dimensional and four-dimensional ultrasound imaging, particularly in the field of medicine.

Problem Addressed

Two-dimensional medical ultrasound produces outlines and flat images of the internal body organs. While this is advantageous for diagnosing prenatal heart defects, kidney problems, and other internal organ abnormalities, a three-dimensional ultrasound image shows external features, anatomical details of the body organ, and volumetric view of the soft tissues. Stitching images of the three-dimensional ultrasound relative to time results in the real-time visualization of the organ functionality. However, making a three-dimensional ultrasound probe is expensive, complex, and prone to failure.

Technology

This technology makes a circuit-level column-row-parallel architecture of multiple ultrasonic transceivers to form a grid. A variety of aperture configurations is achieved through selective beam-forming including plane-wave coherent computing, checkerboard patterns, and annular rings. The flexibility in 3D beam formation allows fine granularity in imaging based on organ-specific requirements. Miniaturization into an integrated circuit is possible by using capacitive micro-machined ultrasonic transducers or piezoelectric micro-machined ultrasonic transducers.

Advantages

  • Miniaturized
  • Scalable
  • Flexible
  • Fault-tolerant
  • Programmable beam-formation