Adaptive transthoracic refocusing of dual-mode ultrasound arrays

John R. Ballard, Andrew J. Casper, Yayun Wan, Emad S Ebbini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


We present experimental validation results of an adaptive, image-based refocusing algorithm of dual-mode ultrasound arrays (DMUAs) in the presence of strongly scattering objects. This study is motivated by the need to develop noninvasive techniques for therapeutic targeting of tumors seated in organs where the therapeutic beam is partially obstructed by the ribcage, e.g., liver and kidney. We have developed an algorithm that takes advantage of the imaging capabilities of DMUAs to identify the ribs and the intercostals within the path of the therapeutic beam to produce a specified power deposition at the target while minimizing the exposure at the rib locations. This image-based refocusing algorithm takes advantage of the inherent registration between the imaging and therapeutic coordinate systems of DMUAs in the estimation of array directivity vectors at the target and rib locations. These directivity vectors are then used in solving a constrained optimization problem allowing for adaptive refocusing, directing the acoustical energy through the intercostals, and avoiding the rib locations. The experimental validation study utilized a 1-MHz, 64-element DMUA in focusing through a block of tissue-mimicking phantom [0.5 dB/(cṁMHz)] with embedded Plexiglas ribs. Single transmit focus (STF) images obtained with the DMUA were used for image-guided selection of the critical and target points to be used for adaptive refocusing. Experimental results show that the echogenicity of the ribs in STF images provide feedback on the reduction of power deposition at rib locations. This was confirmed by direct comparison of measured temperature rise and integrated backscatter at the rib locations. Direct temperature measurements also confirm the improved power deposition at the target and the reduction in power deposition at the rib locations. Finally, we have compared the quality of the image-based adaptive refocusing algorithm with a phase-conjugation solution obtained by direct measurement of the complex pressures at the target location. It is shown that our adaptive refocusing algorithm achieves similar improvements in power deposition at the target while achieving larger reduction of power deposition at the rib locations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5184931
Pages (from-to)93-102
Number of pages10
JournalIEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received January 30, 2009; revised June 2, 2009 and July 4, 2009. First published July 31, 2009; current version published January 4, 2010. This work was supported in part by the National Institutes of Health under Grant EB8191. Asterisk indicates corresponding author.


  • Adaptive beamforming
  • High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)
  • Phased arrays
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Ultrasonic imaging


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