Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Tool Makes Ultrasound Images Clearer

Date:
July 25, 2007
Source:
University of Virginia
Summary:
Scientists have developed a new tool -- an advanced imaging algorithm -- that is, quite literally, transforming the way we see things. The team has created an innovative method of signal processing that can be used with a broad range of imaging and sensing systems including ultrasound, RADAR, SONAR, telecommunications, and even a few optical imaging systems.

About Interactive Supercomputing Interactive Supercomputing (ISC) launched in 2004 to commercialize Star-P, an interactive parallel computing platform. With automatic parallelization and interactive execution of existing desktop technical applications, Star-P merges two previously distinct environments - desktop computers and high performance servers - into one. Based in Waltham, Mass., the privately held company markets Star-P for a range of biomedical, financial, and government laboratory research applications.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Virginia

University of Virginia Engineering School Associate Professor William F. Walker and Research Associate Francesco Viola have developed a new tool — an advanced imaging algorithm — that is, quite literally, transforming the way we see things.

Together with graduate student Michael A. Ellis, biomedical engineering team has created an innovative method of signal processing that can be used with a broad range of imaging and sensing systems including ultrasound, RADAR, SONAR, telecommunications, and even a few optical imaging systems.

Called the Time-domain Optimized Near-field Estimator (TONE), this novel algorithm enhances the effectiveness of medical ultrasound imaging, providing medical professionals with dramatically improved image resolution and contrast.

In an ultrasound scanner, computer algorithms use reflected sound waves to create real-time images of the organ or tissue being examined. The images, however, aren’t always clear.

“For almost four decades, beamforming algorithms have been refined for RADAR and SONAR,” said Walker. “While these algorithms are tremendously powerful, they don’t generally translate well to medical ultrasound imaging.”

When screening for breast cancer or diagnosing other life threatening conditions using ultrasound technology, it is imperative that images are well-defined. Even so, clinical imaging specialists know that many patients simply “image poorly,” that is, images of their organs and tissues remain unclear.

“Off-axis signals — reflections coming from undesired locations — degrade images produced by current ultrasound systems” said Viola. “TONE reduces the contribution of these unwanted signals, thereby forming images with greatly increased contrast and resolution”

The team performed a series of simulations using sample ultrasound data to test the performance of this algorithm and compared it to conventional beamforming strategies (CBF) used by current ultrasound scanners. Imaging trials were conducted using wires (see attached illustration) suspended in water, a typical set up to test image resolution and contrast in medical ultrasound. The results show a significant improvement in spatial resolution over CBF.

The experiments were performed with technical support from Philips Medical Systems, a long-time collaborator of the U.Va. team.

The research team also enlisted the support of Interactive SuperComputing — and the company's product, Star-P, an interactive parallel computing platform — to tackle the computational complexity of the experiments.

According to Walker, the next step will involve using the TONE algorithm to image actual human tissue — the very place where this methodology could have the greatest impact.

“The potential applications for this algorithm are almost infinite,” said James H. Aylor, dean of U.Va.’s School of Engineering and Applied Science. “Not only can it be used in the medical community to benefit patients nationwide, but it will also have applications in the fields of radio astronomy, seismology and more.”

The research — funded by a grant from the U.S. Army Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program in Breast Cancer — is currently patent pending and will be published in a forthcoming issue of IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Virginia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Virginia. "New Tool Makes Ultrasound Images Clearer." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722105030.htm>.
University of Virginia. (2007, July 25). New Tool Makes Ultrasound Images Clearer. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722105030.htm
University of Virginia. "New Tool Makes Ultrasound Images Clearer." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/07/070722105030.htm (accessed April 20, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

Small Reactors Could Be Future of Nuclear Energy

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) After the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the industry fell under intense scrutiny. Now, small underground nuclear power plants are being considered as the possible future of the nuclear energy. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

Horseless Carriage Introduced at NY Auto Show

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) An electric car that proponents hope will replace horse-drawn carriages in New York City has also been revealed at the auto show. (Apr. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

Honda's New ASIMO Robot, More Human-Like Than Ever

AFP (Apr. 17, 2014) It walks and runs, even up and down stairs. It can open a bottle and serve a drink, and politely tries to shake hands with a stranger. Meet the latest ASIMO, Honda's humanoid robot. Duration: 00:54 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins