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Biomedical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 3 • Date March 2013

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 42
  • Front Cover

    Page(s): C1
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  • IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering publication information

    Page(s): C2
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  • Table of contents

    Page(s): 585 - 586
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  • Introduction to special section on grand challenges in engineering life sciences and medicine

    Page(s): 587 - 588
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  • Grand Challenges in Interfacing Engineering With Life Sciences and Medicine

    Page(s): 589 - 598
    Save to Project icon | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (175 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper summarizes the discussions held during the First IEEE Life Sciences Grand Challenges Conference, held on October 4-5, 2012, at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, and the grand challenges identified by the conference participants. Despite tremendous efforts to develop the knowledge and ability that are essential in addressing biomedical and health problems using engineering methodologies, the optimization of this approach toward engineering the life sciences and healthcare remains a grand challenge. The conference was aimed at high-level discussions by participants representing various sectors, including academia, government, and industry. Grand challenges were identified by the conference participants in five areas including engineering the brain and nervous system; engineering the cardiovascular system; engineering of cancer diagnostics, therapeutics, and prevention; translation of discoveries to clinical applications; and education and training. A number of these challenges are identified and summarized in this paper. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Convolving Engineering and Medical Pedagogies for Training of Tomorrow's Health Care Professionals

    Page(s): 599 - 601
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    Several fundamental benefits justify why biomedical engineering and medicine should form a more convergent alliance, especially for the training of tomorrow's physicians and biomedical engineers. Herein, we review the rationale underlying the benefits. Biological discovery has advanced beyond the era of molecular biology well into today's era of molecular systems biology, which focuses on understanding the rules that govern the behavior of complex living systems. This has important medical implications. To realize cost-effective personalized medicine, it is necessary to translate the advances in molecular systems biology to higher levels of biological organization (organ, system, and organismal levels) and then to develop new medical therapeutics based on simulation and medical informatics analysis. Higher education in biological and medical sciences must adapt to a new set of training objectives. This will involve a shifting away from reductionist problem solving toward more integrative, continuum, and predictive modeling approaches which traditionally have been more associated with engineering science. Future biomedical engineers and MDs must be able to predict clinical response to therapeutic intervention. Medical education will involve engineering pedagogies, wherein basic governing rules of complex system behavior and skill sets in manipulating these systems to achieve a practical desired outcome are taught. Similarly, graduate biomedical engineering programs will include more practical exposure to clinical problem solving. View full abstract»

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  • Challenges and Opportunities in Restoring Function After Paralysis

    Page(s): 602 - 609
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    Neurotechnology has made major advances in development of interfaces to the nervous system that restore function in paralytic disorders. These advances enable both restoration of voluntary function and activation of paralyzed muscles to reanimate movement. The technologies used in each case are different, with external surface stimulation or percutaneous stimulation generally used for restoration of voluntary function, and implanted stimulators generally used for neuroprosthetic restoration. The opportunity to restore function through neuroplasticity has demonstrated significant advances in cases where there are retained neural circuits after the injury, such as spinal cord injury and stroke. In cases where there is a complete loss of voluntary neural control, neural prostheses have demonstrated the capacity to restore movement, control of the bladder and bowel, and respiration and cough. The focus of most clinical studies has been primarily toward activation of paralyzed nerves, but advances in inhibition of neural activity provide additional means of addressing the paralytic complications of pain and spasticity, and these techniques are now reaching the clinic. Future clinical advances necessitate having a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms, and having more precise neural interfaces that will ultimately allow individual nerve fibers or groups of nerve fibers to be controlled with specificity and reliability. While electrical currents have been the primary means of interfacing to the nervous system to date, optical and magnetic techniques under development are beginning to reach the clinic, and provide great opportunity. Ultimately, techniques that combine approaches are likely to be the most effective means for restoring function, for example combining regeneration and neural plasticity to maximize voluntary activity, combined with neural prostheses to augment the voluntary activity to functional levels of performance. It is a substantial challenge- to bring any of these techniques through clinical trials, but as each of the individual techniques is sufficiently developed to reach the clinic, these present great opportunities for enabling patients with paralytic disorders to achieve substantial independence and restore their quality of life. View full abstract»

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  • Neuromodulation for Brain Disorders: Challenges and Opportunities

    Page(s): 610 - 624
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    The field of neuromodulation encompasses a wide spectrum of interventional technologies that modify pathological activity within the nervous system to achieve a therapeutic effect. Therapies including deep brain stimulation, intracranial cortical stimulation, transcranial direct current stimulation, and transcranial magnetic stimulation have all shown promising results across a range of neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. While the mechanisms of therapeutic action are invariably different among these approaches, there are several fundamental neuroengineering challenges that are commonly applicable to improving neuromodulation efficacy. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art of neuromodulation for brain disorders and discusses the challenges and opportunities available for clinicians and researchers interested in advancing neuromodulation therapies. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Quantitative Integration of Biological, Pharmacokinetic, and Medical Imaging Data for Organ-Wide Dose-Response Predictions

    Page(s): 625 - 632
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (560 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The central nervous system (CNS) is the most difficult target for drug delivery therapies. Despite datasets available describing physiological, biochemical, cellular, and metabolic properties of the CNS, the development of infusion therapies still faces major delivery challenges. There is a need for the integration of data obtained from different experimental modalities to design molecular therapies. In this paper, we propose a novel mathematical method for the integration of datasets to generate useful dosing criteria for infusion therapies. A case study is used to demonstrate the design of gene silencing therapies to down regulate NMDA receptors in the spinal cord for chronic pain management. Based on experimentally derived kinetics for short interfering RNA (siRNA) and magnetic resonance images, the biodistribution and pharmacokinetics of siRNAs were predicted for different infusion modes. This adaptable, multiscale computational platform enables the prediction of dose-response on an organ-wide level. The quantitative integration of valuable datasets with engineering precision is expected to accelerate the clinical implementation of novel therapeutics. View full abstract»

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  • Challenges and Opportunities in Cardiovascular Health Informatics

    Page(s): 633 - 642
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    Cardiovascular health informatics is a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field concerning the processing, integration/interpretation, storage, transmission, acquisition, and retrieval of information from cardiovascular systems for the early detection, early prediction, early prevention, early diagnosis, and early treatment of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). Based on the first author's presentation at the first IEEE Life Sciences Grand Challenges Conference, held on October 4-5, 2012, at the National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, USA, this paper, focusing on coronary arteriosclerotic disease, will discuss three significant challenges of cardiovascular health informatics, including: 1) to invent unobtrusive and wearable multiparameter sensors with higher sensitivity for the real-time monitoring of physiological states; 2) to develop fast multimodal imaging technologies with higher resolution for the quantification and better understanding of structure, function, metabolism of cardiovascular systems at the different levels; and 3) to develop novel multiscale information fusion models and strategies with higher accuracy for the personalized predication of the CVDs. At the end of this paper, a summary is given to suggest open discussions on these three and more challenges that face the scientific community in this field in the future. View full abstract»

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  • Image-Based Modeling and Precision Medicine: Patient-Specific Carotid and Coronary Plaque Assessment and Predictions

    Page(s): 643 - 651
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    Atherosclerotic plaques may rupture without warning and cause acute cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke. Current clinical screening tools are insufficient to identify those patients with risks early and prevent the adverse events from happening. Medical imaging and image-based modeling have made considerable progress in recent years in identifying plaque morphological and mechanical risk factors which may be used in developing improved patient screening strategies. The key steps and factors in image-based models for human carotid and coronary plaques were illustrated, as well as grand challenges facing the researchers in the field to develop more accurate screening tools. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Toward Novel Noninvasive and Low-Cost Markers for Predicting Strokes in Asymptomatic Carotid Atherosclerosis: The Role of Ultrasound Image Analysis

    Page(s): 652 - 658
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (434 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Stroke is a serious and frequent cerebrovascular disease with an enormous socioeconomic burden worldwide. Stroke prevention includes treatment of carotid atherosclerosis, the most common underlying cause of stroke, according to a specific diagnostic algorithm. However, this diagnostic algorithm has proved insufficient for a large number of mostly asymptomatic subjects, which poses a significant research challenge of identifying novel personalized risk markers for the disease. This paper illustrates the potential of carotid ultrasound image analysis toward this direction, with ultrasound imaging being a low-cost and noninvasive imaging modality and ultrasound-image-based features revealing valuable information on plaque composition and stability. A concise report of state-of-the-art studies in the field is provided and a perspective for clinical scenario for optimal management of atherosclerotic patients is described. Challenges and necessary future steps toward the realization of this scenario are discussed in an attempt to urge and orient future research, and mainly include systematic applications to sufficiently large patient samples, appropriately designed longitudinal studies, confirmation with histological results, and clinical trials. View full abstract»

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  • Relevance of Laser Doppler and Laser Speckle Techniques for Assessing Vascular Function: State of the Art and Future Trends

    Page(s): 659 - 666
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    In clinical and research applications, the assessment of vascular function has become of major importance to evaluate and follow the evolution of cardiovascular pathologies, diabetes, hypertension, or foot ulcers. Therefore, the development of engineering methodologies able to monitor noninvasively blood vessel activities-such as endothelial function-is a significant and emerging challenge. Laser-based techniques have been used to respond-as much as possible-to these requirements. Among them, laser Doppler flowmetry (LDF) and laser Doppler imaging (LDI) were proposed a few decades ago. They provide interesting vascular information but possess drawbacks that prevent an easy use in some clinical situations. Recently, the laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) technique, a noninvasive camera-based tool, was commercialized and overcomes some of the LDF and LDI weaknesses. Our paper describes how-using engineering methodologies-LDF, LDI, and LSCI can meet the challenging clinician needs in assessing vascular function, with a special focus on the state of the art and future trends. View full abstract»

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  • Grand Challenges in Bioengineered Nanorobotics for Cancer Therapy

    Page(s): 667 - 673
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    One of the grand challenges currently facing engineering, life sciences, and medicine is the development of fully functional nanorobots capable of sensing, decision making, and actuation. These nanorobots may aid in cancer therapy, site-specific drug delivery, circulating diagnostics, advanced surgery, and tissue repair. In this paper, we will discuss, from a bioinspired perspective, the challenges currently facing nanorobotics, including core design, propulsion and power generation, sensing, actuation, control, decision making, and system integration. Using strategies inspired from microorganisms, we will discuss a potential bioengineered nanorobot for cancer therapy. View full abstract»

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  • Surgical Robotics Through a Keyhole: From Today's Translational Barriers to Tomorrow's “Disappearing” Robots

    Page(s): 674 - 681
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    In the last century, engineering advances have transformed the practice of surgery. Keyhole surgical techniques offer a number of advantages over traditional open approaches including less postoperative pain, fewer wound complications, and reduced length of stay in hospital. However, they also present considerable technical challenges, particularly to surgeons performing new operative approaches, such as those through natural orifices. Advances in surgical robots have improved surgical visualization, dexterity, and manipulation consistency, thus greatly enhancing surgical performance and patient care. Clinically, however, robotic surgery is still in its infancy, and its use has remained limited to relatively few operations. In the paper, we will discuss the economic-, clinical-, and research-related factors that may act as barriers to the widespread utilization and development of surgical robots. In overcoming these barriers through a synergistic effort of both engineering and medicine, we highlight our future vision of robotic surgery, in both the short and long term. View full abstract»

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  • Engineering Challenges for Instrumenting and Controlling Integrated Organ-on-Chip Systems

    Page(s): 682 - 690
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    The sophistication and success of recently reported microfabricated organs-on-chips and human organ constructs have made it possible to design scaled and interconnected organ systems that may significantly augment the current drug development pipeline and lead to advances in systems biology. Physiologically realistic live microHuman (μHu) and milliHuman (mHu) systems operating for weeks to months present exciting and important engineering challenges such as determining the appropriate size for each organ to ensure appropriate relative organ functional activity, achieving appropriate cell density, providing the requisite universal perfusion media, sensing the breadth of physiological responses, and maintaining stable control of the entire system, while maintaining fluid scaling that consists of ~5 mL for the mHu and ~5 μL for the μHu. We believe that successful mHu and μHu systems for drug development and systems biology will require low-volume microdevices that support chemical signaling, microfabricated pumps, valves and microformulators, automated optical microscopy, electrochemical sensors for rapid metabolic assessment, ion mobility-mass spectrometry for real-time molecular analysis, advanced bioinformatics, and machine learning algorithms for automated model inference and integrated electronic control. Toward this goal, we are building functional prototype components and are working toward top-down system integration. View full abstract»

    Open Access
  • Bioprinting Toward Organ Fabrication: Challenges and Future Trends

    Page(s): 691 - 699
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (615 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Tissue engineering has been a promising field of research, offering hope for bridging the gap between organ shortage and transplantation needs. However, building three-dimensional (3-D) vascularized organs remains the main technological barrier to be overcome. Organ printing, which is defined as computer-aided additive biofabrication of 3-D cellular tissue constructs, has shed light on advancing this field into a new era. Organ printing takes advantage of rapid prototyping (RP) technology to print cells, biomaterials, and cell-laden biomaterials individually or in tandem, layer by layer, directly creating 3-D tissue-like structures. Here, we overview RP-based bioprinting approaches and discuss the current challenges and trends toward fabricating living organs for transplant in the near future. View full abstract»

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  • Grand Challenge: Applying Regulatory Science and Big Data to Improve Medical Device Innovation

    Page(s): 700 - 706
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    Understanding how proposed medical devices will interface with humans is a major challenge that impacts both the design of innovative new devices and approval and regulation of existing devices. Today, designing and manufacturing medical devices requires extensive and expensive product cycles. Bench tests and other preliminary analyses are used to understand the range of anatomical conditions, and animal and clinical trials are used to understand the impact of design decisions upon actual device success. Unfortunately, some scenarios are impossible to replicate on the bench, and competitive pressures often accelerate initiation of animal trials without sufficient understanding of parameter selections. We believe that these limitations can be overcome through advancements in data-driven and simulation-based medical device design and manufacturing, a research topic that draws upon and combines emerging work in the areas of Regulatory Science and Big Data. We propose a cross-disciplinary grand challenge to develop and holistically apply new thinking and techniques in these areas to medical devices in order to improve and accelerate medical device innovation. View full abstract»

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  • Nonthermal Irreversible Electroporation: Fundamentals, Applications, and Challenges

    Page(s): 707 - 714
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    Tissue ablation is an essential procedure for the treatment of many diseases. In the last decade, a nonthermal tissue ablation using intensive pulsed electric fields, called nonthermal irreversible electroporation (NTIRE), has rapidly emerged. The exact mechanisms responsible for cell death by NTIRE, however, are currently unknown. Nevertheless, the technique's remarkable ability to ablate tissue in the proximity of larger blood vessels, to preserve tissue architecture, short procedure duration, and shortened postoperative recovery period rapidly moved NTIRE from bench to bed side. This work provides an overview on the development of NTIRE, its current state-of-the-art, challenges, and future needs. View full abstract»

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  • Micro- and Nanotechnology for HIV/AIDS Diagnostics in Resource-Limited Settings

    Page(s): 715 - 726
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    Thirty-four million people are living with HIV worldwide, a disproportionate number of whom live in resource-limited settings. Proper clinical management of AIDS, the disease caused by HIV, requires regular monitoring of both the status of the host's immune system and levels of the virus in their blood. Therefore, more accessible technologies capable of performing a CD4+ T cell count and HIV viral load measurement in settings where HIV is most prevalent are desperately needed to enable better treatment strategies and ultimately quell the spread of the virus within populations. This review discusses micro- and nanotechnology solutions to performing these key clinical measurements in resource-limited settings. View full abstract»

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  • Engineering Stem Cells For Future Medicine

    Page(s): 727 - 734
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    Despite their great potential in regenerative medicine applications, stem cells (especially pluripotent ones) currently show a limited clinical success, partly due to a lack of biological knowledge, but also due to a lack of specific and advanced technological instruments able to overcome the current boundaries of stem cell functional maturation and safe/effective therapeutic delivery. This paper aims at describing recent insights, current limitations, and future horizons related to therapeutic stem cells, by analyzing the potential of different bioengineering disciplines in bringing stem cells toward a safe clinical use. First, we clarify how and why stem cells should be properly engineered and which could be in a near future the challenges and the benefits connected with this process. Second, we identify different routes toward stem cell differentiation and functional maturation, relying on chemical, mechanical, topographical, and direct/indirect physical stimulation. Third, we highlight how multiscale modeling could strongly support and optimize stem cell engineering. Finally, we focus on future robotic tools that could provide an added value to the extent of translating basic biological knowledge into clinical applications, by developing ad hoc enabling technologies for stem cell delivery and control. View full abstract»

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  • Bridging Paradigms: Hybrid Mechanistic-Discriminative Predictive Models

    Page(s): 735 - 742
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    Many disease processes are extremely complex and characterized by multiple stochastic processes interacting simultaneously. Current analytical approaches have included mechanistic models and machine learning (ML), which are often treated as orthogonal viewpoints. However, to facilitate truly personalized medicine, new perspectives may be required. This paper reviews the use of both mechanistic models and ML in healthcare as well as emerging hybrid methods, which are an exciting and promising approach for biologically based, yet data-driven advanced intelligent systems. View full abstract»

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  • Sparse Reconstruction of Breast MRI Using Homotopic L_0 Minimization in a Regional Sparsified Domain

    Page(s): 743 - 752
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    The use of MRI for early breast examination and screening of asymptomatic women has become increasing popular, given its ability to provide detailed tissue characteristics that cannot be obtained using other imaging modalities such as mammography and ultrasound. Recent application-oriented developments in compressed sensing theory have shown that certain types of magnetic resonance images are inherently sparse in particular transform domains, and as such can be reconstructed with a high level of accuracy from highly undersampled k-space data below Nyquist sampling rates using homotopic L0 minimization schemes, which holds great potential for significantly reducing acquisition time. An important consideration in the use of such homotopic L0 minimization schemes is the choice of sparsifying transform. In this paper, a regional differential sparsifying transform is investigated for use within a homotopic L0 minimization framework for reconstructing breast MRI. By taking local regional characteristics into account, the regional differential sparsifying transform can better account for signal variations and fine details that are characteristic of breast MRI than the popular finite differential transform, while still maintaining strong structure fidelity. Experimental results show that good breast MRI reconstruction accuracy can be achieved compared to existing methods. View full abstract»

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  • Real-Time Brain Oscillation Detection and Phase-Locked Stimulation Using Autoregressive Spectral Estimation and Time-Series Forward Prediction

    Page(s): 753 - 762
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    Neural oscillations are important features in a working central nervous system, facilitating efficient communication across large networks of neurons. They are implicated in a diverse range of processes such as synchronization and synaptic plasticity, and can be seen in a variety of cognitive processes. For example, hippocampal theta oscillations are thought to be a crucial component of memory encoding and retrieval. To better study the role of these oscillations in various cognitive processes, and to be able to build clinical applications around them, accurate and precise estimations of the instantaneous frequency and phase are required. Here, we present methodology based on autoregressive modeling to accomplish this in real time. This allows the targeting of stimulation to a specific phase of a detected oscillation. We first assess performance of the algorithm on two signals where the exact phase and frequency are known. Then, using intracranial EEG recorded from two patients performing a Sternberg memory task, we characterize our algorithm's phase-locking performance on physiologic theta oscillations: optimizing algorithm parameters on the first patient using a genetic algorithm, we carried out cross-validation procedures on subsequent trials and electrodes within the same patient, as well as on data recorded from the second patient. View full abstract»

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  • Comparative Study of Lesions Created by High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound Using Sequential Discrete and Continuous Scanning Strategies

    Page(s): 763 - 769
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    Lesion formation and temperature distribution induced by high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) were investigated both numerically and experimentally via two energy-delivering strategies, i.e., sequential discrete and continuous scanning modes. Simulations were presented based on the combination of Khokhlov-Zabolotskaya-Kuznetsov (KZK) equation and bioheat equation. Measurements were performed on tissue-mimicking phantoms sonicated by a 1.12-MHz single-element focused transducer working at an acoustic power of 75 W. Both the simulated and experimental results show that, in the sequential discrete mode, obvious saw-tooth-like contours could be observed for the peak temperature distribution and the lesion boundaries, with the increasing interval space between two adjacent exposure points. In the continuous scanning mode, more uniform peak temperature distributions and lesion boundaries would be produced, and the peak temperature values would decrease significantly with the increasing scanning speed. In addition, compared to the sequential discrete mode, the continuous scanning mode could achieve higher treatment efficiency (lesion area generated per second) with a lower peak temperature. The present studies suggest that the peak temperature and tissue lesion resulting from the HIFU exposure could be controlled by adjusting the transducer scanning speed, which is important for improving the HIFU treatment efficiency. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering contains basic and applied papers dealing with biomedical engineering. Papers range from engineering development in methods and techniques with biomedical applications to experimental and clinical investigations with engineering contributions.

Full Aims & Scope

Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Bin He
Department of Biomedical Engineering