Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI) on an IVUS circular array.

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Our long-term goal is the detection and characterization of vulnerable plaque in the coronary arteries of the heart using intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) catheters. Vulnerable plaque, characterized by a thin fibrous cap and a soft, lipid-rich necrotic core is a precursor to heart attack and stroke. Early detection of such plaques may potentially alter the course of treatment of the patient to prevent ischemic events. We have previously described the characterization of carotid plaques using external linear arrays operating at 9 MHz. In addition, we previously modified circular array IVUS catheters by short-circuiting several neighboring elements to produce fixed beamwidths for intravascular hyperthermia applications. In this paper, we modified Volcano Visions 8.2 French, 9 MHz catheters and Volcano Platinum 3.5 French, 20 MHz catheters by short-circuiting portions of the array for acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI) applications. The catheters had an effective transmit aperture size of 2 mm and 1.5 mm, respectively. The catheters were connected to a Verasonics scanner and driven with pushing pulses of 180 V p-p to acquire ARFI data from a soft gel phantom with a Young's modulus of 2.9 kPa. The dynamic response of the tissue-mimicking material demonstrates a typical ARFI motion of 1 to 2 microns as the gel phantom displaces away and recovers back to its normal position. The hardware modifications applied to our IVUS catheters mimic potential beamforming modifications that could be implemented on IVUS scanners. Our results demonstrate that the generation of radiation force from IVUS catheters and the development of intravascular ARFI may be feasible.





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Patel, Vivek, Jeremy J Dahl, David P Bradway, Joshua R Doherty, Seung Yun Lee and Stephen W Smith (2014). Acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI) on an IVUS circular array. Ultrason Imaging, 36(2). pp. 98–111. 10.1177/0161734613511595 Retrieved from

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David Bradway

Research Scientist, Senior

David P. Bradway is a research scientist in the Biomedical Engineering Department at Duke University. He earned his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering in 2013 from Duke. Afterward, he was a guest postdoc at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), supported by a Whitaker International Program Scholarship. He has conducted research internships at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Volcano Corporation, and Siemens Healthcare, working on ultrasound research since 2002.


Stephen William Smith

Professor Emeritus of Biomedical Engineering

Current research interests are the development and evaluation of improved medical ultrasound image quality for applications in cardiology, radiology and obstetrics. Advances in image quality result from improvements in the spatial resolution and signal-to-noise ratio of diagnostic ultrasound scanners through novel signal processing techniques and improved design of ultrasound transducers.

One current project includes the development of two-dimensional phased array transducers for application in the Duke 3-D ultrasound scanner in these N x N, "checkerboard'' arrays are used to steer the ultrasound beam in both the azimuth and elevation directions within the patient's body to interrogate a pyramidal shaped object and produce a volumetric scan at high speeds without moving the transducer.

Recently developed transducers include 100 x 100 = 10,000 element arrays operating at 5-10 MHz. Each square element is only 0.2 mm on a side. In addition, we have developed such 2D arrays to fit inside of intra-cardiac catheters only 2 mm in diameter for guidance of cardiac interventional procedures such as mapping and ablation of atrial fibrillation. Processing technologies include the use of micro electronic packaging and fabrication techniques to develop higher frequency arrays up to 20 MHz with improved resolution and smaller element sizes down to 0.05 mm.

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