High Frame Rate Volumetric Imaging of Microbubbles Using a Sparse Array and Spatial Coherence Beamforming

Luxi Wei*, Geraldi Wahyulaksana, Bram Meijlink, Alessandro Ramalli, Emile Noothout, Martin D. Verweij, Enrico Boni, Klazina Kooiman, Antonius F.W. Van Der Steen, Piero Tortoli, Nico De Jong, Hendrik J. Vos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
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Volumetric ultrasound imaging of blood flow with microbubbles enables a more complete visualization of the microvasculature. Sparse arrays are ideal candidates to perform volumetric imaging at reduced manufacturing complexity and cable count. However, due to the small number of transducer elements, sparse arrays often come with high clutter levels, especially when wide beams are transmitted to increase the frame rate. In this study, we demonstrate with a prototype sparse array probe and a diverging wave transmission strategy, that a uniform transmission field can be achieved. With the implementation of a spatial coherence beamformer, the background clutter signal can be effectively suppressed, leading to a signal to background ratio improvement of 25 dB. With this approach, we demonstrate the volumetric visualization of single microbubbles in a tissue-mimicking phantom as well as vasculature mapping in a live chicken embryo chorioallantoic membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3069-3081
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received April 28, 2021; accepted May 28, 2021. Date of publication June 4, 2021; date of current version September 27, 2021. This work was supported in part by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) through the research programme “Vernieuwingsimpuls–Vidi 2017” under Project QUANTO-16572 and in part by the Medical Delta Scientific Program, The Netherlands, through UltraHB Project. (Corresponding author: Luxi Wei.) This work involved human subjects or animals in its research. The authors confirm that all human/animal subject research procedures and protocols are exempt from review board approval.

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