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Ultrasonics. 2013 Feb;53(2):561-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ultras.2012.09.013. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

20 MHz forward-imaging single-element beam steering with an internal rotating variable-angle reflecting surface: Wire phantom and ex vivo pilot study.

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Dept. of Anesthesiology, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, United States.


Feasibility is demonstrated for a forward-imaging beam steering system involving a single-element 20MHz angled-face acoustic transducer combined with an internal rotating variable-angle reflecting surface (VARS). Rotation of the VARS structure, for a fixed position of the transducer, generates a 2-D angular sector scan. If these VARS revolutions were to be accompanied by successive rotations of the single-element transducer, 3-D imaging would be achieved. In the design of this device, a single-element 20MHz PMN-PT press-focused angled-face transducer is focused on the circle of midpoints of a micro-machined VARS within the distal end of an endoscope. The 2-D imaging system was tested in water bath experiments with phantom wire structures at a depth of 10mm, and exhibited an axial resolution of 66μm and a lateral resolution of 520μm. Chirp coded excitation was used to enhance the signal-to-noise ratio, and to increase the depth of penetration. Images of an ex vivo cow eye were obtained. This VARS-based approach offers a novel forward-looking beam-steering method, which could be useful in intra-cavity imaging.

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