Patents Represented by Attorney, Agent or Law Firm Craig A. Summerfield
  • Patent number: 6489706
    Abstract: A plurality of piezomaterial bodies, such as panels or slices, are merged together to form a larger piezomaterial body. For example, a 0.75×22 cm polycrystalline piezomaterial body is formed, where the distances are along lateral or footprint dimensions. The thickness of the piezomaterial body is substantially less than either of the distances along first and second lateral dimensions that define the footprint. Preferably, each piezomaterial body has a panel shape, and a plurality of panels are merged to form a large multi-panel.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 13, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 3, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: John W. Sliwa, Jr., Rick L. Edmiston, Matthew T. Spigelmyer, Vaughn R. Marian, Jr., John P. Mohr, III, John A. Hossack
  • Patent number: 6464640
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for quantifying and displaying ultrasound signals in an ultrasonic system are provided. A first signal value for each of at least one spatial location in a region of interest is acquired at a first time, and the signal values are summed to obtain a first surface integral value. A second signal value for each of said at least one spatial location in said region of interest is acquired at a second time, and the second signal values are summed to obtain a second surface integral value. The first surface integral value is summed with the second surface integral value to obtain a time based integral. The time based integral is displayed. Other quantities based on any of various ultrasound parameters, such as Doppler energy, Doppler velocity and B-mode intensity, are calculated and displayed as quantities or as waveforms as a function of time. Furthermore, various comparisons of quantities and waveforms are provided. Image plane data or other ultrasound data are used in the calculations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: October 15, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Ismayil M. Guracar, John I. Jackson
  • Patent number: 6416478
    Abstract: An ultrasound transducer that allows transmission of pressure waves at a first frequency and reception of pressure waves at a second frequency. Each transducer element is formed by multiple layers of transducer material. A transceiver provides an excitation signal to the transducer and receives energy from the transducer. All of the layers are coupled to the transceiver during transmission so that all of the layers are activated. Some of the layers are decoupled from the transceiver during reception so that not all of the layers contribute to the received signal. A filter circuit is also responsive to the coupling, providing additional low, high or band pass filtering appropriate for one of transmit or receive. The pressure waves at the second frequency are responsive to tissue and/or contrast agents.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventor: John A. Hossack
  • Patent number: 6409667
    Abstract: A transducer system and method for harmonic imaging is provided. At least one transducer element is provided. The transducer element comprises two stacked piezoelectric layers. Information from each of the layers is independently processed during one of a transmit event, a receive event, and both transmit and receive events. Information from the transducer element is provided to a filter. The filter isolates harmonic information for imaging. By providing a multi-layer transducer element with independent processing for each layer, a wide bandwidth transducer for harmonic imaging is provided. The null associated with most transducers at the second harmonic of a fundamental frequency is removed or lessened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 23, 2000
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventor: John A. Hossack
  • Patent number: 6364835
    Abstract: A medical diagnostic ultrasound imaging system aligns substantially co-planar two-dimensional images to form an extended field of view using improved compounding methods. Compounding with a finite impulse response is used for more versatile compositing. The compounding is adaptive, such as through adapting the image regions, weighting, or type of compounding as a function of correlation, location within the image, estimated motion or combinations thereof. A user warning is provided as a function of the correlation between images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 27, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 2, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: John A. Hossack, Linyong Pang, Thilaka S. Sumanaweera, John W. Allison, Kutay F. Ustuner, Charles E. Bradley
  • Patent number: 6359367
    Abstract: Spiral, sparse spiral, substantially spiral or substantially sparse spiral transducer arrays comprising capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer elements disposed on a silicon substrate, and ultrasound imaging systems employing same. The transducer elements are respectively coupled to a plurality of amplifiers. Imager electronics are coupled to each of the amplifiers and drives the transducer elements and/or generates an output of the spiral transducer array. The amplifiers may be located in the silicon substrate containing the transducer elements, or on a separate substrate that is interconnected to the substrate containing the transducer elements using bumps, for example. Electrical interconnection to the transducer elements may readily be achieved without interfering with the acoustic output of the transducer elements.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Thilaka S. Sumanaweera, Sevig Ayter, John W. Sliwa, Jr.
  • Patent number: 6360027
    Abstract: An ultrasonic imaging system includes an ultrasonic transducer having an image data array and a tracking array at each end of the image data array. The tracking arrays are oriented transversely to the image data array. Images from the image data array are used to reconstruct a three-dimensional representation of the target. The relative movement between respective frames of the image data is automatically estimated by a motion estimator, based on frames of data from the tracking arrays. As the transducer is rotated about the azimuthal axis of the image data array, features of the target remain within the image planes of the tracking arrays. Movements of these features in the image planes of the tracking arrays are used to estimate motion as required for the three-dimensional reconstruction. Similar techniques estimate motion within the plane of an image to create an extended field of view.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: John A. Hossack, John W. Sliwa, Jr., Samuel H. Maslak, Edward A. Gardner, Gregory L. Holley, David J. Napolitano
  • Patent number: 6358204
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for processing ultrasound data is provided. The apparatus includes an interface operatively connected to a memory, a programmable single instruction multiple data processor (or two symmetric processors), a source of acoustic data (such as a data bus) and a system bus. The memory stores data from the processor, ultrasound data from the source, and data from the system bus. The processor has direct access to the memory. Alternatively, the system bus has direct access to the memory. The interface device translates logically addressed ultrasound data to physically addressed ultrasound data for storage in a memory. The translation is the same for data from both the processor and the source for at least a portion of a range of addresses. The memory stores both ultrasound data and various of: beamformer control data, instruction data for the processor, display text plane information, control plane data, and a table of memory addresses. One peripheral connects to the ultrasound apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1999
    Date of Patent: March 19, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: David J. Finger, Ismayil M. Guracar, D. Grant Fash, III, Shahrokh Shakouri
  • Patent number: 6354997
    Abstract: A method and system for acquiring data in an ultrasound system are provided. A transducer is operatively connected to a transmit beamformer and a receive beamformer. The receive beamformer is configured to obtain a first value associated with a fundamental frequency interleaved with a second value associated with a harmonic frequency. A first transmit signal is transmitted at a first frequency. A first echo signal is received in response to the first transmit signal. At least the first value associated with the first frequency is obtained from the first echo signal. An interleaved second transmit signal is transmitted at the first frequency or a second frequency. A second echo signal is received in response to the second transmit signal. At least the second value associated with a third frequency is obtained from the second echo signal. Images are generated and displayed based on the at least one first value and the at least one second value.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 30, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Gregory L. Holley, Paul E. Chandler
  • Patent number: 6352511
    Abstract: Ultrasound data is generated by a receive beamformer. Ultrasound image processing is applied to the ultrasound data for presentation of an image. Various ones of the ultrasound image processing steps may be reversed. For example, persistence processing may be reversed in order to obtain ultrasound data associated with data prior to persistence processing. This recovered data may be used to generate an image or for application of a different amount of persistence. Other processes that may be reversed to recover ultrasound data include focal and depth gain compensation, dynamic range compression, intensity or color mapping, and various filtering, such as persistence or spatial filtering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 5, 2002
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: John A. Hossack, Samuel H. Maslak, Kutay F. Ustuner, Mirsaid Seyed-Bolorforosh
  • Patent number: 6329913
    Abstract: A passenger detection system is provided. The passenger detection system utilizes an oscillation circuit that causes an antenna electrode to emit an electric field that is disrupted by the electrical characteristics of an object placed on the seat. This disruption alters the current and phase of the signal in the antenna electrode. By comparing the current flowing in the antenna electrode and/or the difference between the phase of the signal in the antenna electrode and the oscillation circuit output signal with predetermined threshold values, it is possible to detect the presence of a passenger in a reliable and inexpensive manner.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 1999
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: NEC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Shiuh-An Shieh, Masanobu Shinmura, James Frederick Kirksey
  • Patent number: 6329914
    Abstract: A passenger detection system is provided. The passenger detection system utilizes an oscillation circuit that causes an antenna electrode to emit an electric field that is disrupted by the electrical characteristics of an object placed on the seat. This disruption alters the current and phase of the signal in the antenna electrode. By comparing the current flowing in the antenna electrode and/or the difference between the phase of the signal in the antenna electrode and the oscillation circuit output signal with predetermined threshold values, it is possible to detect the presence of a passenger in a reliable and inexpensive manner. The determination is made with a two layer electrode arrangement, including smaller and larger electrodes. The two layers allow calculation of an amount of compression on the seat. The amount of compression is used to characterize the passenger.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 29, 2000
    Date of Patent: December 11, 2001
    Assignee: NEC Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Shiuh-An Shieh, James Frederick Kirksey
  • Patent number: 6322511
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for quantifying and displaying ultrasound signals in an ultrasonic system are provided. A first signal value for each of at least one spatial location in a region of interest is acquired at a first time, and the signal values are summed to obtain a first surface integral value. A second signal value for each of said at least one spatial location in said region of interest is acquired at a second time, and the second signal values are summed to obtain a second surface integral value. The first surface integral value is summed with the second surface integral value to obtain a time based integral. The time based integral is displayed. Other quantities based on any of various ultrasound parameters, such as Doppler energy, Doppler velocity and B-mode intensity, are calculated and displayed as quantities or as waveforms as a function of time. Furthermore, various comparisons of quantities and waveforms are provided. Image plane data or other ultrasound data are used in the calculations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Ismayil M. Guracar, Samuel H. Maslak
  • Patent number: 6322505
    Abstract: Ultrasound data is generated by a receive beamformer. Ultrasound image processing is applied to the ultrasound data for presentation of an image. Various ones of the ultrasound image processing steps may be reversed. For example, persistence processing may be reversed in order to obtain ultrasound data associated with data prior to persistence processing. This recovered data may be used to generate an image or for application of a different amount of persistence. Other processes that may be reversed to recover ultrasound data include focal and depth gain compensation, dynamic range compression, intensity or color mapping, and various filtering, such as persistence or spatial filtering.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: John A. Hossack, Samuel H. Maslak, Kutay F. Ustuner, Mirsaid Seyed-Bolorforosh
  • Patent number: 6322512
    Abstract: The invention provides a non-invasive method and apparatus for improved ultrasonic imaging and for measurement of ambient pressure, temperature or gas concentration using non-invasive ultrasound contrast imaging techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 7, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 27, 2001
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Nico De Jong, Peter Frinking
  • Patent number: 6312379
    Abstract: Improvements to a method for imaging a target, which method including the steps of (a) transmitting ultrasonic energy at a fundamental frequency, (b) receiving reflected ultrasonic energy at a harmonic of the fundamental frequency and (c) generating an image responsive to reflected energy at the harmonic, are provided. The transmitting step includes transmitting a waveform with a positive pulse spatially defined by first and second zero values. A positive peak amplitude of the positive pulse is a first distance from the first zero value that is less than half a second distance between said first and second zero values. Thus, the waveform includes a fundamental spectral component and a harmonic spectral component at the transducer. An attenuation normalized peak of the harmonic spectral component is reduced at a region spaced from the transducer as compared to the peak at a region adjacent to the transducer. A negative peak is also shifted or pre-distorted.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 6, 2001
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Charles E. Bradley, Gregory L. Holley, Lawrence J. Newell, David J. Hedberg, Dave Napolitano
  • Patent number: 6309357
    Abstract: A method and system for flow or movement detection is provided. More than one clutter filter is used. Each clutter filter's magnitude versus frequency response is optimized differently. Estimates of the flow or movement are generated from the data output by each of the clutter filters. Using selection or combination of the resulting estimates, the best attributes of each filter are used for imaging.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 9, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 30, 2001
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Ismayil M. Guracar, Patrick J. Phillips
  • Patent number: 6306093
    Abstract: A method and system for generating data for a spectral Doppler strip in an ultrasound system includes a beamformer that provides Doppler data to a signal processor. The signal processor applies an autoregressive model and determines autoregressive parameters responsive to the Doppler data. Information responsive to the autoregressive parameters is generated, and a window function is applied to the information. At least one spectrum responsive to the auto-regressive parameter is estimated with a Fourier transform.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 29, 1998
    Date of Patent: October 23, 2001
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventor: John S. Wang
  • Patent number: 6300961
    Abstract: An apparatus and method for processing ultrasound data is provided. The apparatus includes an interface operatively connected to a memory, a programmable single instruction multiple data processor (or two symmetric processors), a source of acoustic data (such as a data bus) and a system bus. The memory stores data from the processor, ultrasound data from the source, and data from the system bus. The processor has direct access to the memory. Alternatively, the system bus has direct access to the memory. The interface device translates logically addressed ultrasound data to physically addressed ultrasound data for storage in a memory. The translation is the same for data from both the processor and the source for at least a portion of a range of addresses. The memory stores both ultrasound data and various of: beamformer control data, instruction data for the processor, display text plane information, control plane data, and a table of memory addresses. One peripheral connects to the ultrasound apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 20, 1999
    Date of Patent: October 9, 2001
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: David J. Finger, Ismayil M. Guracar, D. Grant Fash, III, Shahrokh Shakouri
  • Patent number: 6293914
    Abstract: A system and methods for measuring the volume flow of fluid in an enclosed structure with an ultrasound system is provided. Manual designation of flow angles and areas may not be necessary. Velocities along two or more different scan lines in a first scan plane are obtained to determine an angle of flow within the enclosed structure. A Doppler spectrum parameter is measured from a transmission in a second scan plane substantially perpendicular to the first scan plane. Volume flow is calculated from the flow angle and the parameter. The scan planes are associated with rotating a linear array transducer or holding a multi-dimensional transducer in place. A C-scan method with a linear transducer may also be used.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 31, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 25, 2001
    Assignee: Acuson Corporation
    Inventors: Thilaka S. Sumanaweera, Patrick J. Phillips