The ultrasound brain helmet: new transducers and volume registration for in vivo simultaneous multi-transducer 3-D transcranial imaging.
Because stroke remains an important and time-sensitive health concern in developed nations, we present a system capable of fusing 3-D transcranial ultrasound volumes acquired from two sides of the head. This system uses custom sparse array transducers built on flexible multilayer circuits that can be positioned for simultaneous imaging through both temporal acoustic windows, allowing for potential registration of multiple real-time 3-D scans of cerebral vasculature. We examine hardware considerations for new matrix arrays-transducer design and interconnects-in this application. Specifically, it is proposed that SNR may be increased by reducing the length of probe cables. This claim is evaluated as part of the presented system through simulation, experimental data, and in vivo imaging. Ultimately, gains in SNR of 7 dB are realized by replacing a standard probe cable with a much shorter flex interconnect; higher gains may be possible using ribbon-based probe cables. In vivo images are presented, showing cerebral arteries with and without the use of microbubble contrast agent; they have been registered and fused using a simple algorithm which maximizes normalized cross-correlation.
Lindsey, BD; Light, ED; Nicoletto, HA; Bennett, ER; Laskowitz, DT; Smith, SW
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