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).

  • Patent number: 9788813
    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 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: October 17, 2017
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Sharon L. Adam, David M. Smith, Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Publication number: 20170224312
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improving the quality of ultrasound images made up of a combination of multiple sub-images include giving more weight to sub-image information that is more likely to improve a combined image quality. Weighting factor information may be determined from the geometry (e.g., angle or path length) of a location of one or more specific transducer elements relative to a specific point within a region of interest or a region of an image. In some embodiments, any given pixel (or other discrete region of an image) may be formed by combining received echo data in a manner that gives more weight to data that is likely to improve image quality, and/or discounting or ignoring data that is likely to detract from image quality (e.g., by introducing noise or by increasing point spread).
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 24, 2017
    Publication date: August 10, 2017
    Inventors: Josef R. CALL, Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Patent number: 9668714
    Abstract: Systems and methods for improving the quality of ultrasound images made up of a combination of multiple sub-images include giving more weight to sub-image information that is more likely to improve a combined image quality. Weighting factor information may be determined from the geometry (e.g., angle or path length) of a location of one or more specific transducer elements relative to a specific point within a region of interest or a region of an image. In some embodiments, any given pixel (or other discrete region of an image) may be formed by combining received echo data in a manner that gives more weight to data that is likely to improve image quality, and/or discounting or ignoring data that is likely to detract from image quality (e.g., by introducing noise or by increasing point spread).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: June 6, 2017
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Josef R. Call, Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Publication number: 20170079621
    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: March 23, 2017
    Inventors: Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Patent number: 9526475
    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: September 4, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 27, 2016
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Publication number: 20160256134
    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: May 16, 2016
    Publication date: September 8, 2016
    Inventors: Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Publication number: 20160157833
    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 16, 2016
    Publication date: June 9, 2016
    Inventors: David M. SMITH, Sharon L. ADAM, Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER, John P. LUNSFORD, David J. SPECHT
  • Publication number: 20160135783
    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: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2016
    Publication date: May 19, 2016
    Inventors: Kenneth D. BREWER, David M. SMITH, Rozalin M. LORENZATO, Bruce R. RITZI
  • Patent number: 9339256
    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: February 21, 2013
    Date of Patent: May 17, 2016
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Publication number: 20160095579
    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: December 10, 2015
    Publication date: April 7, 2016
    Inventors: David M. SMITH, Donald F. SPECHT, Linda V. CABRERA, Kenneth D. BREWER, David J. SPECHT
  • Patent number: 9282945
    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: October 21, 2011
    Date of Patent: March 15, 2016
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: David M. Smith, Sharon L. Adam, Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer, John P. Lunsford, David J. Specht
  • Patent number: 9265484
    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: December 28, 2012
    Date of Patent: February 23, 2016
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Kenneth D. Brewer, David M. Smith, Rozalin M. Lorenzato, Bruce R. Ritzi
  • Patent number: 9247926
    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: October 12, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 2, 2016
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: David M. Smith, Donald F. Specht, Linda V. Cabrera, Kenneth D. Brewer, David J. Specht
  • Publication number: 20150374345
    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: September 4, 2015
    Publication date: December 31, 2015
    Inventors: Donald F. SPECHT, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Patent number: 9220478
    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: January 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: December 29, 2015
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: David M. Smith, Donald F. Specht, Linda V. Cabrera, Kenneth D. Brewer, David J. Specht
  • Patent number: 9192355
    Abstract: Increasing the effective aperture of an ultrasound imaging probe by including more than one probe head and using the elements of all of the probes to render an image can greatly improve the lateral resolution of the generated image. In order to render an image, the relative positions of all of the elements must be known precisely. A calibration fixture is described in which the probe assembly to be calibrated is placed above a test block and transmits ultrasonic pulses through the test block to an ultrasonic sensor. As the ultrasonic pulses are transmitted though some or all of the elements in the probe to be tested, the differential transit times of arrival of the waveform are measured precisely. From these measurements the relative positions of the probe elements can be computed and the probe can be aligned.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 14, 2013
    Date of Patent: November 24, 2015
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: David M. Smith, Sharon L. Adam, Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer, John P. Lunsford
  • Patent number: 9146313
    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: February 17, 2011
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: MAUI IMAGING, INC.
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer
  • Publication number: 20150157294
    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: January 12, 2015
    Publication date: June 11, 2015
    Inventors: David M. SMITH, Donald F. SPECHT, Linda V. CABRERA, Kenneth D. BREWER, David J. SPECHT
  • Publication number: 20150045668
    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. Construction of probes can vary by medical application. That is, a general radiology probe can contain multiple transducers that maintain separate physical points of contact with the patient's skin, allowing multiple physical apertures. A cardiac probe may contain only two transmitters and receivers where the probe fits simultaneously between two or more intracostal spaces. An intracavity version of the probe can space transmit and receive transducers along the length of the wand, while an intravenous version can allow transducers to be located on the distal length the catheter and separated by mere millimeters. 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 28, 2014
    Publication date: February 12, 2015
    Inventors: David M. SMITH, Sharon L. ADAM, Donald F. SPECHT, John P. LUNSFORD, Kenneth D. BREWER
  • Publication number: 20140073921
    Abstract: The benefits of a multi-aperture ultrasound probe can be achieved with add-on devices. Synchronization and correlation of echoes from multiple transducer elements located in different arrays is essential to the successful processing of multiple aperture imaging. The algorithms disclosed here teach methods to successfully process these signals when the transmission source is coming from another ultrasound system and synchronize the add-on system to the other ultrasound system. Two-dimensional images with different noise components can be constructed from the echoes received by individual transducer elements. The disclosed techniques have broad application in medical imaging and are ideally suited to multi-aperture cardiac imaging using two or more intercostal spaces.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 12, 2013
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Inventors: Donald F. Specht, Kenneth D. Brewer