Patents Examined by Francis J. Jaworski
  • Patent number: 7927278
    Abstract: A standardized acquisition methodology assists operators to accurately replicate high resolution B-mode ultrasound images obtained over several spaced-apart examinations utilizing a split-screen display in which the arterial ultrasound image from an earlier examination is displayed on one side of the screen while a real-time “live” ultrasound image from a current examination is displayed next to the earlier image on the opposite side of the screen. By viewing both images, whether simultaneously or alternately, while manually adjusting the ultrasound transducer, an operator is able to bring into view the real-time image that best matches a selected image from the earlier ultrasound examination. Utilizing this methodology, dynamic material properties of arterial structures, such as IMT and diameter, are measured in a standard region over successive image frames.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2002
    Date of Patent: April 19, 2011
    Assignee: California Institute of Technology
    Inventors: Robert H. Selzer, Howard N. Hodis
  • Patent number: 7662100
    Abstract: An edge detector executes a process to extract a surface of an inner wall of a left ventricle from a binarized image output from a binarization circuit. A telediastolic edge memory stores an intracardial surface image at the end of ventricular diastole from among intracardial surface images for time phases output from the edge detector. A displacement detector unit detects the amount of displacement for each site of the intracardial surface between time phases from the intracardial surface image at the telediastolic which is output from the telediastolic edge memory, a current intracardial surface image which is output from the edge detector, and a center-of-mass coordinate of the intracardial section at the telediastolic point which is stored in a telediastolic center-of-mass memory. A coloring processor unit applies a coloring process to each site of the surface of the current intracardial surface image based on the amount of displacement and outputs the result to an image synthesizer unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: February 16, 2010
    Assignee: Aloka Co., Ltd.
    Inventor: Marasu Murashita
  • Patent number: 7608043
    Abstract: An apparatus and method to assess the compressibility, density, and hematocrit of blood including an optical ultrasound probe clipped onto tubing in which blood is flowing. The probe includes a combination of ultrasound transducers, a light emitting diode, and photodiodes. An indicator medium is injected into the bloodstream of the subject over one or more time points. Ultrasound waves are emitted by a transducer and received by another transducer, and a novel signal-processing unit and a computer with a novel computation scheme process the ultrasound signals to assess the phase shift of ultrasound as it transmitted across the blood stream.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 19, 2004
    Date of Patent: October 27, 2009
    Assignee: Global Monitors, Inc.
    Inventors: Lian-Pin Lee, Jen-Shih Lee
  • Patent number: 7570742
    Abstract: This invention describes a method for increasing the speed of the parabolic marching method by about a factor of 256. This increase in speed can be used to accomplish a number of important objectives. Firstly, the speed can be used to collect data to form true 3-D images or 3-D assembled from 2-D slices. Speed allows larger images to be made. Secondly, the frequency of operation can be increased to 5 MHz to match the operating frequency of reflection tomography. This allow the improved imaging of speed of sound which in turn is used to correct errors in focusing delays in reflection tomography imaging. This allows reflection tomography to reach or closely approach its theoretical spatial resolution of ½ to ¾ wave lengths. A third benefit of increasing the operating frequency of inverse scattering to 5 MHz is the improved out of topographic plane spatial resolution. This improves the ability to detect small lesions.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 7, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 4, 2009
    Assignee: Techniscan, Inc.
    Inventors: Steven A. Johnson, David T. Borup, James Wiskin, Michael J. Berggren
  • Patent number: 7527592
    Abstract: A sub-aperture transceiver system for an ultrasound probe includes a signal processor, receive signal connections connecting the signal processor to a receive aperture comprising acoustic transceiver elements, and transmit signal connections coupled to a transmit aperture that includes at least one acoustic transceiver element multiplexed with the receive aperture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Geir Ultveit Haugen, Kjell Kristoffersen, Douglas Glenn Wildes
  • Patent number: 7527591
    Abstract: An ultrasound beamforming probe includes an array of transducer elements and a processing board that carries a signal processor. Receive signal connections, for a receive aperture formed from multiple transducer elements, are coupled to the first signal processor. A location memory is connected to the signal processor and holds a spatial location for the receive aperture. The signal processor retrieves the spatial location, determines a beamforming phase shift derived from the spatial location for each transducer element in the receive aperture, and applies the respective phase shift to each receive signal.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Geir Ultveit Haugen, Per Arne Linnerud, Kjell Kristoffersen
  • Patent number: 7527594
    Abstract: The present invention is a guide wire imaging device for vascular or non-vascular imaging utilizing optic acoustical methods, which device has a profile of less than 1 mm in diameter. The ultrasound imaging device of the invention comprises a single mode optical fiber with at least one Bragg grating, and a piezoelectric or piezo-ceramic jacket, which device may achieve omnidirectional (360°) imaging. The imaging guide wire of the invention can function as a guide wire for vascular interventions, can enable real time imaging during balloon inflation, and stent deployment, thus will provide clinical information that is not available when catheter-based imaging systems are used. The device of the invention may enable shortened total procedure times, including the fluoroscopy time, will also reduce radiation exposure to the patient and to the operator.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 14, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 5, 2009
    Assignee: Vascular Imaging Corporation
    Inventors: Gil M. Vardi, Evgeni Spivak, legal representative, Victor Spivak
  • Patent number: 7520856
    Abstract: A frame ensures that the alignment between a high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) transducer designed for vaginal use and a commercially available ultrasound image probe is maintained, so that the HIFU focus remains in the image plane during HIFU therapy. A water-filled membrane placed between the HIFU transducer and the treatment site provides acoustic coupling. The coupling is evaluated to determine whether any air bubbles exist at the coupling interface, which might degrade the therapy provided by the HIFU transducer. HIFU lesions on tissue appear as hyperechoic spots on the ultrasound image in real time during application of HIFU therapy. Ergonomic testing in humans has demonstrated clear visualization of the HIFU transducer relative to the uterus and showed the potential for the HIFU transducer to treat fibroids from the cervix to the fundus through the width of the uterus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: April 21, 2009
    Assignee: University of Washington
    Inventors: Shahram Vaezy, Arthur H. Chan, Victor Y. Fujimoto, Donald E. Moore, Roy W. Martin
  • Patent number: 7497828
    Abstract: A medical system includes a carrier and a multiplicity of electromechanical transducers mounted to the carrier, the transducers being disposable in effective pressure-wave-transmitting contact with a patient. Energization componentry is operatively connected to a first plurality of the transducers for supplying the same with electrical signals of at least one pre-established ultrasonic frequency to produce first pressure waves in the patient. A control unit is operatively connected to the energization componentry and includes an electronic analyzer operatively connected to a second plurality of the transducers for performing electronic 3D volumetric data acquisition and imaging (which includes determining three-dimensional shapes) of internal tissue structures of the patient by analyzing signals generated by the second plurality of the transducers in response to second pressure waves produced at the internal tissue structures in response to the first pressure waves.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 2000
    Date of Patent: March 3, 2009
    Assignee: Wilk Ultrasound of Canada, Inc.
    Inventors: Peter J. Wilk, Timothy J. Nohara, Peter T. Weber
  • Patent number: 7457654
    Abstract: Motion artifacts are reduced for three- or four-dimensional imaging with a mechanically rocked array by determining a position of a scan within a volume as a function of velocity. A represented position within a volume of a mechanically rocked scan is determined. Differences in velocity associated with different scan plane positions are used to alter or adjust a scan position. For example, the start position for a transmit operation or the spatial location represented by previously acquired data is altered as a function of a corresponding velocity in the mechanical movement of the array. Variation in velocity results in different relative scan positions or adjustments within the volume. The velocity variation is determined in an open loop, such as from previously measured or expected velocity of the array, or from feedback from actual measured position and associated velocity of the array.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 27, 2003
    Date of Patent: November 25, 2008
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: Gerald A. Raitzer, Mervin M. Smith-Casem
  • Patent number: 7438685
    Abstract: An improved system and method for optimizing the planning, registration, targeting, and delivery of conformal, external beam radiation therapy of prostate cancer and other soft-tissue diseases. Real-time ultrasound imaging during planning and treatment is used forlocalization of soft tissue treatment targets and fused with radiographic or CT data for conformal treatment optimization. The fusion technique provides accurate localization of the prostate volume in real time. For treatment of prostate cancer, visualization of the prostate gland is achieved using transrectal ultrasonography and the fusion of that image in the precise location of the prostate within the pelvic region, accurately determining the location of the prostate target by transformation of the ultrasound image data on both the ultrasound and X-ray/CT images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 1, 2002
    Date of Patent: October 21, 2008
    Assignee: Computerized Medical Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Everette C. Burdette, Dana L. Deardorff
  • Patent number: 7425198
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for combining therapeutic pulsed or continuous-wave ultrasound with diagnostic pulsed ultrasound are described. In both a therapeutic mode and in a diagnostic mode, the ultrasound is administered from a single probe to a patient suffering from thrombosis. The ultrasound can have the same or different frequency ranges in the diagnostic and therapeutic modes. The pulsed or continuous-wave ultrasound in the therapeutic mode enhances a lysing effect of a thrombolytic agent. The pulsed ultrasound in the diagnostic mode allows monitoring of blood flow to locate a thrombus, to determine an optimal window to administer the therapeutic pulsed ultrasound, and to detect when recanalization has occurred. If an operator attends the device, a graphical display operates during the diagnostic mode to display an image representative of the blood flow.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 21, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 16, 2008
    Assignee: Spentech, Inc.
    Inventors: Mark A. Moehring, Arne H. Voie, Merrill P. Spencer
  • Patent number: 7419469
    Abstract: An ideographical language framework is disclosed that is designed to enable the description and communication of a series of workflow steps. An ideogram is defined as a character or symbol representing an idea or thing without expressing the pronunciation of a particular word or words for it, i.e. not dependent on any specific natural language representation. Further, an ideogram may further be culturally independent as well. A workflow is defined as the activities, e.g. tasks or procedural steps, entities involved, i.e. participants, such as people, organizations, machines, etc., inputs and outputs, states, requisite tools, and the relationships therebetween, for each step in a process. The various activities, entities, inputs, outputs, tools and relationships are referred to as workflow elements. The disclosed embodiments represent workflow elements of a given workflow using ideograms meaningful to workflow participants, i.e.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 24, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 2, 2008
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventor: Paul P. Vacca
  • Patent number: 7402136
    Abstract: An ultrasound system and related method for forming 2D C-scan images and/or collecting 3D image data from 2D transducer arrays. The system including in part a 2D transducer array of elements, transmit voltage generation means for each element, a memory buffer with or part of channels for each element, and a receive beamformer. On a time serial or sequential basis, several times for each line of firing, the contents of the per element memory buffer are read into the beamformer with different focusing values for each buffer reading cycle. In this way, the beamformer can calculate beamformed image values for multiple points per line firing cycle—or per each line of signals between the transducer array and receive beamformer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 15, 2004
    Date of Patent: July 22, 2008
    Assignee: University of Virginia Patent Foundation
    Inventors: John A. Hossack, William F. Walker, Travis N. Blalock
  • Patent number: 7396332
    Abstract: A single transducer element that is capable of oscillation at a plurality of natural resonant frequencies may be used in an ultrasonic imaging catheter assembly including a catheter body configured to be inserted and guided through the vascular system of a living being, a lumen and a rotatable imaging core adapted to pass through the lumen, the imaging core including a flexible drive-shaft. Because the transducer element is capable of oscillation at a plurality of natural resonant frequencies, a user can switch from one frequency to another in order to improve the depth of field or resolution without having to switch out the catheter or imaging core.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 10, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 8, 2008
    Assignee: SciMed Life Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Miriam H. Taimisto, Richard Lardner
  • Patent number: 7393356
    Abstract: In an ultrasonic operation apparatus according to the present invention, in order to detect the initial resonance frequency (Fro) promptly once a foot switch is pressed, under the control of a sweeping speed control circuit, the D/A converter D/A converts 8-bits of signals (phase difference amount signal ??) representing the amount of the phase difference detected by the phase comparator, and the output of the D/A converter is output to a VCO so as to become a clock for a sweep circuit. When a phase difference amount between ?i and ?v is large and a drive frequency setting signal (Fs) is far from Fro, the sweeping speed for Fro detection is increased. When a phase difference amount between ?i and ?v is small and Fs is close to Fro, the sweeping speed for Fro detection is decreased.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2003
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2008
    Assignee: Olympus Corporation
    Inventor: Kazue Tanaka
  • Patent number: 7387612
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a device with an ultrasonic-based probe for drilling and coring. The invention uses ultrasonic and subsonic vibrations produced by a frequency compensation coupler or free mass to produce the hammering action of a partially disengaged probe, with a relatively low axial force required. The invention can also be fitted with irrigation and aspiration capabilities. The invention can furthermore be furnished with a body sensor-feedback apparatus, which provides feedback to the operator as to the optimal frequency and power use of the generator. One embodiment of the invention also has a cooling mechanism to keep the drill or coring apparatus at an optimum temperature.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 4, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 17, 2008
    Assignee: Cybersonics, Inc.
    Inventors: Dharmendra Pal, Thomas Peterson, Tao Song, Shu Du
  • Patent number: 7377900
    Abstract: An apparatus for delivering acoustic energy to a target site adjacent a body passage includes first and second elongate members, each carrying one or more transducer elements on their distal ends. The first and/or second elongate members include connectors for securing the first and second elongate members together such that the transducer elements together define a transducer array. The first and second elongate members are introduced sequentially into a body passage until the transducer elements are disposed adjacent a target site. Acoustic energy is delivered from the transducer elements to the target site to treat tissue therein. In another embodiment, the apparatus includes a tubular member and an expandable structure carrying a plurality of transducer elements. The structure is expanded between a contracted configuration during delivery and an enlarged configuration when deployed for delivering acoustic energy to a target site adjacent the body passage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 27, 2008
    Assignee: Insightec - Image Guided Treatment Ltd.
    Inventors: Shuki Vitek, Doron Kopelman, Yoav Medan, Dov Maor
  • Patent number: 7374537
    Abstract: A distance measuring system comprises first and second transducers, and an ultrasound ranging subsystem coupled to the first and second transducers for performing a plurality of distance measurements between the first and second transducers. The distance measurement system can have various applications, including medical applications, in which case, the first and second transducers can be mounted on a catheter. The distance measuring system further comprises a filter coupled to the ultrasound ranging subsystem for filtering ultrasound interference from the plurality of distance measurements (such as, e.g., eight), and outputting a distance based on the filtered distance measurements. The filter filters the ultrasound interference by selecting one of the plurality distance measurements, in which case, the outputted distance is the selected distance measurement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 27, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: Boston Scientific Scimed, Inc.
    Inventor: N. Parker Willis
  • Patent number: 7374538
    Abstract: A pushing pulse is delivered from an ultrasound transducer array having a plurality of elements to a target region within a medium to displace the target region to a displaced position. A tracking pulse is delivered from the ultrasound transducer array to the target region, and a plurality of tracking signals are received from locations in the target region, each tracking signal being responsive to the tracking pulse.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 6, 2003
    Date of Patent: May 20, 2008
    Assignee: Duke University
    Inventors: Kathryn R. Nightingale, Gregg E. Trahey