Volume 142, Number 5, June 2023
|Number of page(s)
|Mathematical and interdisciplinary physics
|30 May 2023
Seismic imaging of medical ultrasound data: Towards in vivo applications
1 Imaging and Numerical Geophysics, Center for Advanced Studies, Research and Development in Sardinia Pula, Italy
2 Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Cagliari - Cagliari, Italy
(a) E-mail: email@example.com (corresponding author)
Received: 4 November 2022
Accepted: 11 May 2023
This study presents the application to medical ultrasonography of a high value-added imaging method developed in the context of geophysical exploration and based on the undulatory description of the physical process. Currently, the most serious limitation of conventional medical ultrasound systems is the implicit assumption of constant-velocity media stemming from the widespread use of geometrical ray-based imaging algorithms and leading to phase aberration phenomena in the case typical of the human body of two or more tissues with different velocities. As a result, imaging of targets underlying tissue layers can be severely degraded. To address this problem, the proposed algorithm is designed expressly for variable-velocity media, providing high-resolution images by implementing the solution of the one-way wave equation. From a macro-velocity model, the illuminated structures are imaged by correlating, in the frequency domain and for each source element, the simulated emitted wavefield with the back-propagated echoes sensed by the ultrasound transducer. The pointwise sum of the correlations reveals, constructively, all diffraction points and reflectors in the image space. The experiments conducted on in vitro laboratory data reveal remarkable spatial resolution and very accurate target positioning, even in the presence of an aberrant layer. A preliminary in vivo test also demonstrates the method's effectiveness in imaging echoes recorded on human tissues, giving a glimpse of its potentiality for clinical purposes.
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