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The applicability of ultrasound dynamic receive beamformers to photoacoustic imaging

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2 Author(s)
Harrison, T. ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Univ. of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada ; Zemp, R.J.

Ultrasound array transducers offer several advantages over mechanically-scanned transducers for photoacoustic imaging, including high imaging frame rates and dynamic focusing. Development of a photoacoustic array system can be accelerated by adapting existing commercial ultrasound systems and harnessing their performance-enhancing aspects such as parallel beamforming. One challenge faced when adapting commercial ultrasound systems for photoacoustic imaging is that the dynamic delay sequences required for focusing must account for one-way rather than two-way ultrasound wave propagation. Modifying the hardware may be difficult for developers and impossible for users, but some ultrasound systems provide a parameter, c: the speed of sound used to calculate these delays. A linear-array based ultrasound platform with parallel channel acquisition is used to compare experimental point-spread functions produced using an ultrasound beamformer with a scaled value of c to those produced by a photoacoustic beamformer. Scaling c by a factor of √2 provides the best image quality compared with adjustments by 1 and 2, but requires image rescaling, which can be done postacquisition or by modification of the rendering software. Although optimal focusing is achieved for linear scanning, this is not the case for sector scanning, which requires angular and depth rescaling.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:58 ,  Issue: 10 )