Patents by Inventor Kenneth D. Brewer

Kenneth D. Brewer has filed for patents to protect the following inventions. This listing includes patent applications that are pending as well as patents that have already been granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

  • Publication number: 20210068787
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging (MAUI) probe or transducer is uniquely capable of simultaneous imaging of a region of interest from separate apertures of ultrasound arrays. Some embodiments provide systems and methods for designing, building and using ultrasound probes having continuous arrays of ultrasound transducers which may have a substantially continuous concave curved shape in two or three dimensions (i.e., concave relative to an object to be imaged). Other embodiments herein provide systems and methods for designing, building and using ultrasound imaging probes having other unique configurations, such as adjustable probes and probes with variable configurations.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 16, 2020
    Publication date: March 11, 2021
    Inventors: David M. SMITH, Donald F. SPECHT, Linda V. CABRERA, Kenneth D. BREWER, David J. SPECHT
  • Patent number: 10925577
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging (MAUI) probe or transducer is uniquely capable of simultaneous imaging of a region of interest from separate physical apertures of ultrasound arrays. The probe can include separate backing plates configured to secure the ultrasound arrays in predetermined positions and orientations relative to one another. Some embodiments of the probe include flex circuit connected to the ultrasound arrays. In additional embodiments, a flex/PC board comprising flex connectors and an array of terminals is connected to the ultrasound arrays. Algorithms can solve for variations in tissue speed of sound, thus allowing the probe apparatus to be used virtually anywhere in or on the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 16, 2017
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2021
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Sharon L. Adam, David M. Smith, Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Patent number: 10835208
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging (MAUI) probe or transducer is uniquely capable of simultaneous imaging of a region of interest from separate apertures of ultrasound arrays. Some embodiments provide systems and methods for designing, building and using ultrasound probes having continuous arrays of ultrasound transducers which may have a substantially continuous concave curved shape in two or three dimensions (i.e., concave relative to an object to be imaged). Other embodiments herein provide systems and methods for designing, building and using ultrasound imaging probes having other unique configurations, such as adjustable probes and probes with variable configurations.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 10, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 17, 2020
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: David M. Smith, Donald F. Specht, Linda V. Cabrera, Kenneth D. Brewer, David J. Specht
  • Publication number: 20200323513
    Abstract: A multiple aperture ultrasound imaging system may be configured to store raw, un-beamformed echo data. Stored echo data may be retrieved and re-beamformed using modified parameters in order to enhance the image or to reveal information that was not visible or not discernible in an original image. Raw echo data may also be transmitted over a network and beamformed by a remote device that is not physically proximate to the probe performing imaging. Such systems may allow physicians or other practitioners to manipulate echo data as though they were imaging the patient directly, even without the patient being present. Many unique diagnostic opportunities are made possible by such systems and methods.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 29, 2020
    Publication date: October 15, 2020
    Inventors: Josef R. CALL, Kenneth D. BREWER, Viet Nam LE, Matthew OUELLETTE, Mathias BLAKE
  • Publication number: 20200297320
    Abstract: Changes in tissue stiffness have long been associated with disease. Systems and methods for determining the stiffness of tissues using ultrasonography may include a device for inducing a propagating shear wave in tissue and tracking the speed of propagation, which is directly related to tissue stiffness and density. The speed of a propagating shear wave may be detected by imaging a tissue at a high frame rate and detecting the propagating wave as a perturbance in successive image frames relative to a baseline image of the tissue in an undisturbed state. In some embodiments, sufficiently high frame rates may be achieved by using a ping-based ultrasound imaging technique in which unfocused omni-directional pings are transmitted (in an imaging plane or in a hemisphere) into a region of interest. Receiving echoes of the omnidirectional pings with multiple receive apertures allows for substantially improved lateral resolution.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 9, 2020
    Publication date: September 24, 2020
    Inventors: Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Patent number: 10695027
    Abstract: A multiple aperture ultrasound imaging system may be configured to store raw, un-beamformed echo data. Stored echo data may be retrieved and re-beamformed using modified parameters in order to enhance the image or to reveal information that was not visible or not discernible in an original image. Raw echo data may also be transmitted over a network and beamformed by a remote device that is not physically proximate to the probe performing imaging. Such systems may allow physicians or other practitioners to manipulate echo data as though they were imaging the patient directly, even without the patient being present. Many unique diagnostic opportunities are made possible by such systems and methods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: June 30, 2020
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Josef R. Call, Kenneth D. Brewer, Viet Nam Le, Matthew Ouellette, Mathias Blake
  • Patent number: 10675000
    Abstract: Changes in tissue stiffness have long been associated with disease. Systems and methods for determining the stiffness of tissues using ultrasonography may include a device for inducing a propagating shear wave in tissue and tracking the speed of propagation, which is directly related to tissue stiffness and density. The speed of a propagating shear wave may be detected by imaging a tissue at a high frame rate and detecting the propagating wave as a perturbance in successive image frames relative to a baseline image of the tissue in an undisturbed state. In some embodiments, sufficiently high frame rates may be achieved by using a ping-based ultrasound imaging technique in which unfocused omni-directional pings are transmitted (in an imaging plane or in a hemisphere) into a region of interest. Receiving echoes of the omnidirectional pings with multiple receive apertures allows for substantially improved lateral resolution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 9, 2020
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Patent number: 10617384
    Abstract: Systems and methods of M-mode ultrasound imaging allows for M-mode imaging along user-defined paths. In various embodiments, the user-defined path can be a non-linear path or a curved path. In some embodiments, a system for M-mode ultrasound imaging can comprise a multi-aperture probe with at least a first transmitting aperture and a second receiving aperture. The receiving aperture can be separate from the transmitting aperture. In some embodiments, the transmitting aperture can be configured to transmit an unfocused, spherical, ultrasound ping signal into a region of interest. The user-defined path can define a structure of interest within the region of interest.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2020
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Kenneth D. Brewer, David M. Smith, Rozalin M. Lorenzato, Bruce R. Ritzi
  • Publication number: 20190328367
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging system and methods of use are provided with any number of features. In some embodiments, a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit and receive ultrasound energy to and from separate physical ultrasound apertures. In some embodiments, a transmit aperture of a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit an omni-directional unfocused ultrasound waveform approximating a first point source through a target region. In some embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with a single receiving aperture. In other embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with multiple receiving apertures. Algorithms are described that can combine echoes received by one or more receiving apertures to form high resolution ultrasound images. Additional algorithms can solve for variations in tissue speed of sound, thus allowing the ultrasound system to be used virtually anywhere in or on the body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 9, 2019
    Publication date: October 31, 2019
    Inventors: Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Patent number: 10342518
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging system and methods of use are provided with any number of features. In some embodiments, a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit and receive ultrasound energy to and from separate physical ultrasound apertures. In some embodiments, a transmit aperture of a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit an omni-directional unfocused ultrasound waveform approximating a first point source through a target region. In some embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with a single receiving aperture. In other embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with multiple receiving apertures. Algorithms are described that can combine echoes received by one or more receiving apertures to form high resolution ultrasound images. Additional algorithms can solve for variations in tissue speed of sound, thus allowing the ultrasound system to be used virtually anywhere in or on the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 5, 2018
    Date of Patent: July 9, 2019
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Publication number: 20190200961
    Abstract: A method of full-field or “ping-based” Doppler ultrasound imaging allows for detection of Doppler signals indicating moving reflectors at any point in an imaging field without the need to predefine range gates. In various embodiments, such whole-field Doppler imaging methods may include transmitting a Doppler ping from a transmit aperture, receiving echoes of the Doppler ping with one or more separate receive apertures, detecting Doppler signals and determining the speed of moving reflectors. In some embodiments, the system also provides the ability to determine the direction of motion by solving a set of simultaneous equations based on echo data received by multiple receive apertures.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 11, 2019
    Publication date: July 4, 2019
    Applicant: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER, David M. SMITH, Josef R. CALL, Viet Nam LE, Bruce R. RITZI
  • Publication number: 20190175152
    Abstract: A method of calibrating an ultrasound probe includes mounting an ultrasound probe onto a calibration system, transmitting an ultrasound test signal from an element of the probe through a test medium of the calibration system, and receiving the test signal on a matrix of hydrophones such that an element's position relative to other elements and other arrays within the same probe can be computed. Further, the system described herein is configured to detect the acoustic performance of elements of a probe and report the results to an end user or service provider.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 15, 2019
    Publication date: June 13, 2019
    Applicant: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: David M. SMITH, Sharon L. ADAM, Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER, John P. LUNSFORD, David J. SPECHT
  • Patent number: 10226234
    Abstract: A method of full-field or “ping-based” Doppler ultrasound imaging allows for detection of Doppler signals indicating moving reflectors at any point in an imaging field without the need to pre-define range gates. In various embodiments, such whole-field Doppler imaging methods may include transmitting a Doppler ping from a transmit aperture, receiving echoes of the Doppler ping with one or more separate receive apertures, detecting Doppler signals and determining the speed of moving reflectors. In some embodiments, the system also provides the ability to determine the direction of motion by solving a set of simultaneous equations based on echo data received by multiple receive apertures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 2012
    Date of Patent: March 12, 2019
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer, David M. Smith, Josef R. Call, Viet Nam Le, Bruce R. Ritzi
  • Patent number: 10206662
    Abstract: A method of calibrating an ultrasound probe includes mounting an ultrasound probe onto a calibration system, transmitting an ultrasound test signal from an element of the probe through a test medium of the calibration system, and receiving the test signal on a matrix of hydrophones such that an element's position relative to other elements and other arrays within the same probe can be computed. Further, the system described herein is configured to detect the acoustic performance of elements of a probe and report the results to an end user or service provider.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2016
    Date of Patent: February 19, 2019
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: David M. Smith, Sharon L. Adam, Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer, John P. Lunsford, David J. Specht
  • Publication number: 20180279991
    Abstract: A multiple aperture ultrasound imaging system may be configured to store raw, un-beamformed echo data. Stored echo data may be retrieved and re-beamformed using modified parameters in order to enhance the image or to reveal information that was not visible or not discernible in an original image. Raw echo data may also be transmitted over a network and beamformed by a remote device that is not physically proximate to the probe performing imaging. Such systems may allow physicians or other practitioners to manipulate echo data as though they were imaging the patient directly, even without the patient being present. Many unique diagnostic opportunities are made possible by such systems and methods.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 5, 2018
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Inventors: Josef R. CALL, Kenneth D. BREWER, Viet Nam LE, Matthew OUELLETTE, Mathias BLAKE
  • Publication number: 20180279998
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging system and methods of use are provided with any number of features. In some embodiments, a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit and receive ultrasound energy to and from separate physical ultrasound apertures. In some embodiments, a transmit aperture of a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit an omni-directional unfocused ultrasound waveform approximating a first point source through a target region. In some embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with a single receiving aperture. In other embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with multiple receiving apertures. Algorithms are described that can combine echoes received by one or more receiving apertures to form high resolution ultrasound images. Additional algorithms can solve for variations in tissue speed of sound, thus allowing the ultrasound system to be used virtually anywhere in or on the body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 5, 2018
    Publication date: October 4, 2018
    Inventors: Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Patent number: 9986975
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging system and methods of use are provided with any number of features. In some embodiments, a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit and receive ultrasound energy to and from separate physical ultrasound apertures. In some embodiments, a transmit aperture of a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit an omni-directional unfocused ultrasound waveform approximating a first point source through a target region. In some embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with a single receiving aperture. In other embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with multiple receiving apertures. Algorithms are described that can combine echoes received by one or more receiving apertures to form high resolution ultrasound images. Additional algorithms can solve for variations in tissue speed of sound, thus allowing the ultrasound system to be used virtually anywhere in or on the body.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2016
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Patent number: 9986969
    Abstract: A multiple aperture ultrasound imaging system may be configured to store raw, un-beamformed echo data. Stored echo data may be retrieved and re-beamformed using modified parameters in order to enhance the image or to reveal information that was not visible or not discernible in an original image. Raw echo data may also be transmitted over a network and beamformed by a remote device that is not physically proximate to the probe performing imaging. Such systems may allow physicians or other practitioners to manipulate echo data as though they were imaging the patient directly, even without the patient being present. Many unique diagnostic opportunities are made possible by such systems and methods.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 20, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 5, 2018
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Josef R. Call, Kenneth D. Brewer, Viet Nam Le, Matthew Ouellette, Mathias Blake
  • Publication number: 20180049717
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging (MAUI) probe or transducer is uniquely capable of simultaneous imaging of a region of interest from separate physical apertures of ultrasound arrays. The probe can include separate backing plates configured to secure the ultrasound arrays in predetermined positions and orientations relative to one another. Some embodiments of the probe include flex circuit connected to the ultrasound arrays. In additional embodiments, a flex/PC board comprising flex connectors and an array of terminals is connected to the ultrasound arrays. Algorithms can solve for variations in tissue speed of sound, thus allowing the probe apparatus to be used virtually anywhere in or on the body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 16, 2017
    Publication date: February 22, 2018
    Inventors: Sharon L. ADAM, David M. SMITH, Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Publication number: 20170367686
    Abstract: A Multiple Aperture Ultrasound Imaging system and methods of use are provided with any number of features. In some embodiments, a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit and receive ultrasound energy to and from separate physical ultrasound apertures. In some embodiments, a transmit aperture of a multi-aperture ultrasound imaging system is configured to transmit an omni-directional unfocused ultrasound waveform approximating a first point source through a target region. In some embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with a single receiving aperture. In other embodiments, the ultrasound energy is received with multiple receiving apertures. Algorithms are described that can combine echoes received by one or more receiving apertures to form high resolution ultrasound images. Additional algorithms can solve for variations in tissue speed of sound, thus allowing the ultrasound system to be used virtually anywhere in or on the body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2016
    Publication date: December 28, 2017
    Applicant: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER