We present a form of acoustic microscopy, called Structured Ultrasound Microscopy (SUM). It creates a volumetric image by recording reflected echoes of ultrasound waves with a structured phase front using a moving single-element transducer and computational reconstruction. A priori knowledge of the acoustic field produced by the single element allows us to relate the received echoes to a 3D scatter map within the acoustic beam itself, leading to an isotropic resolution at all depths. An aberration mask in front of the acoustic element imposes the phase structure, broadening the beam and breaking the spatial coherence between different voxels at equal acoustic propagation delay, increasing the uniqueness of the reconstruction. By translating the transducer across the 3D volume, we synthetically enlarge the imaging aperture by using multiple overlapping and spatially sparsely sampled measurements to solve for the entire image. In this paper, we explain the SUM technique and demonstrate microscopic imaging at 20 MHz of a 2.3 × 2.3 × 1.2 mm object in water, with an isotropic resolution below 100 μm. The proposed approach allows for wide-field 3D imaging at isotropic microscopic resolution using a small unfocused ultrasound sensor and multiple spatially sparsely sampled measurements. This technique may find applications in many other fields where space is constrained, device simplicity is desired, and wide-field isotropic high-resolution imaging is required.

doi.org/10.1063/1.5026863, hdl.handle.net/1765/108989
Applied Physics Letters
Department of Biomedical Engineering

Janjic, J., Kruizinga, P., Van Der Meulen, P. (Pim), Springeling, T., Mastik, F., Leus, G. (Geert), … van Soest, G. (2018). Structured ultrasound microscopy. Applied Physics Letters, 112(25). doi:10.1063/1.5026863