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Phys Med Biol. 2016 Jul 21;61(14):5275-96. doi: 10.1088/0031-9155/61/14/5275. Epub 2016 Jun 29.

Development of a spherically focused phased array transducer for ultrasonic image-guided hyperthermia.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of California, Davis, CA 95616-8686, USA.


A 1.5 MHz prolate spheroidal therapeutic array with 128 circular elements was designed to accommodate standard imaging arrays for ultrasonic image-guided hyperthermia. The implementation of this dual-array system integrates real-time therapeutic and imaging functions with a single ultrasound system (Vantage 256, Verasonics). To facilitate applications involving small animal imaging and therapy the array was designed to have a beam depth of field smaller than 3.5 mm and to electronically steer over distances greater than 1 cm in both the axial and lateral directions. In order to achieve the required f number of 0.69, 1-3 piezocomposite modules were mated within the transducer housing. The performance of the prototype array was experimentally evaluated with excellent agreement with numerical simulation. A focal volume (2.70 mm (axial)  ×  0.65 mm (transverse)  ×  0.35 mm (transverse)) defined by the  -6 dB focal intensity was obtained to address the dimensions needed for small animal therapy. An electronic beam steering range defined by the  -3 dB focal peak intensity (17 mm (axial)  ×  14 mm (transverse)  ×  12 mm (transverse)) and  -8 dB lateral grating lobes (24 mm (axial)  ×  18 mm (transverse)  ×  16 mm (transverse)) was achieved. The combined testing of imaging and therapeutic functions confirmed well-controlled local heating generation and imaging in a tissue mimicking phantom. This dual-array implementation offers a practical means to achieve hyperthermia and ablation in small animal models and can be incorporated within protocols for ultrasound-mediated drug delivery.

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