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Single-chip CMUT-on-CMOS front-end system for real-time volumetric IVUS and ICE imaging

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8 Author(s)
Gurun, G. ; Sch. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; Tekes, C. ; Zahorian, J. ; Xu, T.
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Intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and intracardiac echography (ICE) catheters with real-time volumetric ultrasound imaging capability can provide unique benefits to many interventional procedures used in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary and structural heart diseases. Integration of capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) arrays with front-end electronics in single-chip configuration allows for implementation of such catheter probes with reduced interconnect complexity, miniaturization, and high mechanical flexibility. We implemented a single-chip forward-looking (FL) ultrasound imaging system by fabricating a 1.4-mm-diameter dual-ring CMUT array using CMUT-on-CMOS technology on a front-end IC implemented in 0.35-μm CMOS process. The dual-ring array has 56 transmit elements and 48 receive elements on two separate concentric annular rings. The IC incorporates a 25-V pulser for each transmitter and a low-noise capacitive transimpedance amplifier (TIA) for each receiver, along with digital control and smart power management. The final shape of the silicon chip is a 1.5-mm-diameter donut with a 430-μm center hole for a guide wire. The overall front-end system requires only 13 external connections and provides 4 parallel RF outputs while consuming an average power of 20 mW. We measured RF A-scans from the integrated single- chip array which show full functionality at 20.1 MHz with 43% fractional bandwidth. We also tested and demonstrated the image quality of the system on a wire phantom and an ex vivo chicken heart sample. The measured axial and lateral point resolutions are 92 μm and 251 μm, respectively. We successfully acquired volumetric imaging data from the ex vivo chicken heart at 60 frames per second without any signal averaging. These demonstrative results indicate that single-chip CMUT-on-CMOS systems have the potential to produce realtime volumetric images with image quality and speed suitable for catheter-bas- d clinical applications.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:61 ,  Issue: 2 )