Through-transmission (e.g., Time-of-flight) Imaging Patents (Class 600/448)
  • Patent number: 7611466
    Abstract: An ultrasound transceiver scans an organ and processes the echogenic signals to produce three-dimensional, two-dimensional, and one-dimensional information of the organ. The 3-D, 2-D, and 1-D information is utilized to determine the thickness, surface area, volume, and mass of the organ wall.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 2005
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2009
    Assignee: Verathon Inc.
    Inventors: Vikram Chalana, Stephen Dudycha, Gerald McMorrow, Jongtae Yuk, Tim Shelton, Bill Barnard
  • Patent number: 7540842
    Abstract: A medical diagnostic ultrasonic imaging system acquires receive beams from spatially distinct transmit beams. The receive beams alternate in type between at least first and second types across the region being imaged. The first and second types of receive beams differ in at least one scan parameter other than transmit and receive line geometry, and can for example differ in transmit phase, transmit or receive aperture, system frequency, transmit focus, complex phase angle, transmit code or transmit gain. Receive beams associated with spatially distinct ones of the transmit beams (including at least one beam of the first type and at least one beam of the second type) are then combined. In this way, many two-pulse techniques, including, for example, phase inversion techniques, synthetic aperture techniques, synthetic frequency techniques, and synthetic focus techniques, can be used while substantially reducing the frame rate penalty normally associated with such techniques.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: June 2, 2009
    Assignee: Siemens Medical Solutions USA, Inc.
    Inventors: David J. Napolitano, Christopher R. Cole, Gregory L. Holley, John A. Hossack, Charles E. Bradley, Patrick Phillips
  • Publication number: 20080229832
    Abstract: Ultrasound sound-speed tomography requires accurate picks of time-of-flights (TOFs) of transmitted ultrasound signals, however, manual picking on large datasets is time-consuming. An improved automatic TOF picker is taught based on the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC) and multi-model inference (model averaging), based on the calculated AIC values, to improve the accuracy of TOF picks. The automatic TOF picker of the present invention can accurately pick TOFs in the presence of random noise with average absolute amplitude of up to 80% of the maximum absolute synthetic signal amplitude. The inventive method is applied to clinical ultrasound breast data, and compared with manual picks and amplitude threshold picking. Test results indicate that the inventive TOF picker is much less sensitive to data signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs), and performs more consistently for different datasets in relation to manual picking. The technique provides noticeably improved image reconstruction accuracy.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 19, 2008
    Publication date: September 25, 2008
    Applicant: LOS ALAMOS NATIONAL SECURITY
    Inventors: Lianjie Huang, Cuiping Li
  • Patent number: 7341583
    Abstract: A positioning system for an applicator includes a glove for being used for a diagnosis of the affected part, a mark body provided on the glove, an applicator for being inserted into a living body, and an energy emitter provided on the applicator for supplying energy to the living body. The positioning system further includes a sensor provided on the applicator which is capable of detecting the distance to the mark body, a control apparatus for discriminating an optimum position of the applicator based on the distance between the sensor and the mark body while the mark body is disposed in the proximity of the affected part based on a diagnosis performed using the glove, and a display apparatus for displaying a result of the discrimination by the control apparatus.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2004
    Date of Patent: March 11, 2008
    Assignee: Terumo Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroshi Shiono, Akira Sakaguchi, Shin Maki
  • Publication number: 20070270695
    Abstract: Techniques are disclosed for efficiently and securely handling of patient medical images and data. In one particular embodiment, an acquisition service and picture archive communication system (PACS) architecture are provided that facilitate the transmission and storage of medical image objects using reliable IP multicasting, packet encoded transmission, and digital rights management (DRM). The system effectively creates a broadcast signal in which all listening computers can securely receive medical image objects at once for purposes of interpretation/diagnosis, assisting in surgery, and other such appropriate medical uses.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 16, 2006
    Publication date: November 22, 2007
    Inventor: Ronald Keen
  • Patent number: 7094205
    Abstract: A system for providing high resolution imaging of objects having sub-millimeter dimensions comprised of at least one transmitter, at least one receiver, a coupling chamber, and a processor for recording attenuation and time of flight profiles of the transmitted signals. The signals are conditioned in a manner to provide high signal-to-noise ration (SNR) and minimal crosstalk and multipath effects at the receiver.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2002
    Date of Patent: August 22, 2006
    Assignee: Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California
    Inventor: Vasilis Z. Marmarelis
  • Patent number: 6957583
    Abstract: An ultrasonic inspection instrument for detecting a crack and performing sizing in the depth direction of the crack. By a transmitter element array and a receiver element array included in a common sensor, focus points between focused acoustic fields are electronically scanned in a range including a location where half the sum of the transmitting angle of ultrasonic waves to an inspection-target material and the receiving angle of diffraction echoes from the inspection-target material is 30 degrees, so that a tip portion of the crack is detected from the received diffraction echoes. Thus, the detectability of the ultrasonic inspection instrument for detecting diffraction waves in a subject to be inspected and performing crack inspection is stabilized and kept high.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: October 25, 2005
    Assignee: Hitachi, Ltd.
    Inventors: Masahiro Tooma, Naoyuki Kono, Masahiro Koike, Hirokazu Adachi, Takao Shimura, Makoto Senoo, Tetsuya Matsui
  • Publication number: 20040181153
    Abstract: There is provided methods and systems for optical imaging in a turbid medium that combine continuous wave (CW) and time domain (TD) approaches to substantially increase robustness of optical imaging as well as to reduce acquisition times associated with the TD approach. In one aspect, a method is provided that uses CW measurements to scale the values of a temporal point spread function (TPSF) to avoid physical unit mismatch problems. In another aspect, both CW and TD measurements are synergistically combined to estimate optical properties of the medium used in image reconstruction. Optical systems capable of realizing these methods are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2003
    Publication date: September 16, 2004
    Inventor: David Jonathan Hall
  • Patent number: 6786869
    Abstract: For the purpose of allowing confirmation of time progress during a run of a contrast agent protocol and the like on a display screen, time elapsed after freeze-off and time duration of freeze are displayed in a contrast agent protocol display region. In an elapsed-time-after-injection display region, time elapsed from the time of contrast agent injection is displayed. In a countdown display region, time remaining up to a scheduled time for the next operation to be made by an operator is calculated and displayed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 30, 2003
    Date of Patent: September 7, 2004
    Assignee: GE Medical Systems Global Technology Company, LLC
    Inventor: Hiroshi Hashimoto
  • Patent number: 6776760
    Abstract: Systems and methods for obtaining images of body organs or other tissue for each of their multiple characterizing aspects, and for classifying different tissue types within the images according to their characterizing aspects, are disclosed herein. The tissue may be irradiated with an ultrasonic signal, and an interaction signal received in return. Sinogram data may be constructed from the received interaction signal, and multiple characterizing data extracted therefrom. The multiple characterizing data representing multiple characterizing aspects may then be matched to tissue type within a database containing information correlating characterizing multi-aspect data with tissue type. Images of the tissue may then be presented with identifiers associating tissue portions with their matched tissue types.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 5, 2003
    Date of Patent: August 17, 2004
    Assignee: Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California
    Inventor: Vasilis Z. Marmarelis
  • Patent number: 6755082
    Abstract: A device for measuring sound velocity in material comprises a piezoelectric substrate, first- and second comb-shaped electrodes, a counter electrode, and a reflector. When input electric signals with a frequency f, respectively, are applied between the first comb-shaped electrode and the counter electrode in turn, longitudinal waves are radiated into a material existing between the counter electrode and the reflector, and then, reflected at the reflector, and after all, detected between the second comb-shaped electrode and the counter electrode as delayed electric signals Di in accordance with distances Zi between the counter electrode and the reflector. Electrical coupled-signals from the input electric signals and the delayed electric signals Di interfere respectively, so that respective interference signals Ri occur. A sound velocity V in the material is estimated from the frequency f and the interference signals Ri.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 20, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 29, 2004
    Inventor: Kohji Toda
  • Publication number: 20040097810
    Abstract: The breast cancer detector of the invention comprising a transparent breast pressing member 1 having a pressing face 4 which is pressed to a breast of a subject that makes it possible to observe the breast pressed to the body from the opposite face to the pressing face 4, a light source means 2 for irradiating light of a designated wavelength with respect to the breast in an area to which the pressing face 4 is pressed and an image pickup means 3 sensitive to light from the breast derived from irradiated light of the light source means 2 and obtaining the breast image through the breast pressing member 1, wherein breast cancer is detected from the breast image obtained by the image pickup means. Therefore, the breast is pressed to the body by using the breast pressing member 1 to keep the breast thin, thus making it possible to irradiate uniformly the light emitted from the light source 2 to an area of the breast to which the pressing face 4 is pressed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 8, 2003
    Publication date: May 20, 2004
    Inventor: Mitsuharu Miwa
  • Publication number: 20040097811
    Abstract: A microwave breast cancer imaging method that includes an examination table that is both comfortable and reliable is provided that includes a support system and an orientation system such that breasts can remain in a fixed position to allow for scanning. A horizontal microwave and optically transparent scan plate forms part of the top of the examination table. The imprint of the breasts on the scan plate may be visually displayed to aid in the orienting of each breast such that all volumes within the breast are scanned. Microwave power is then scanned upward through the scan plate to develop a microwave response that is indicative of the presence of a lesion. After scanning, the visual imprint of the breast is recorded. As needed, microwave equipment can be included within a microwave shielded enclosure that also forms part of the scan table.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 8, 2003
    Publication date: May 20, 2004
    Inventors: Randall M. Smith, Jack E. Bridges, Denis E. Jones, Todd R. Henry
  • Patent number: 6719693
    Abstract: An apparatus for use in an ultrasonic imaging system adapted for generating synthetic focus images in real-time. The apparatus employs an integrated circuit architecture which is scalable and can be employed to construct real-time synthetic focus ultrasonic imaging systems having a large number of transducer array elements. The apparatus utilizes one field programmable gate array per image channel for data storage and sub-image generation. Each field programmable gate array includes on-chip block memories to store digitized ultrasonic signal return echo data and at least one block memory used to store data associated with each ultrasonic transmitter-receiver array pair. Logic inside the field programmable gate array calculates memory addresses during image generation to generate a time-of-flight surface and to form sub-images.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 28, 2003
    Date of Patent: April 13, 2004
    Assignee: BECS Technology, Inc.
    Inventor: William D. Richard
  • Patent number: 6672165
    Abstract: An acoustoelectronic method and apparatus for generating real-time three-dimensional images of an object and characterizing such object are provided. The object is insonified with an incident acoustic signal derived from an electrical signal. Acoustic signals scattered from the object are collected by an acoustic receiver, which generates analog electrical signals that are subsequently converted to digital electronic signals. The digital electronic signals are used in both direct-imaging and holographic methods to produce a three-dimensional representation of the object from which images and characterizations can be generated.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 25, 2002
    Date of Patent: January 6, 2004
    Assignee: Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center
    Inventors: John D. G. Rather, H. John Caulfield, Richard D. Doolittle, Glenn W. Zeiders, Gregory W. Auner
  • Patent number: 6641537
    Abstract: An ultrasonic transmission unit for an imaging/quantitative ultrasound device provides for coaxial transducer crystals which may be operated independently with a first crystal operated alone for quantitative measurement and the first and second crystal operated together to provide a broad illumination for imaging of structure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2001
    Date of Patent: November 4, 2003
    Assignee: GE Medical Systems Global Technology Company, LLC
    Inventors: Richard Franklin Morris, Steven Taylor Morris, Duane Anthony Kaufman
  • Patent number: 6607489
    Abstract: A coherent imaging system includes a transmitter and a receive beamformer which are programmed with transmit and receive time delays, respectively, that take into account time-of-flight errors caused by an intervening mammography compression plate between the biological tissue being imaged and a phased array of ultrasonic transducer elements. A simple ray-tracing method is utilized to adjust the transmit and receive time delays according to compression plate thickness and speed of ultrasound propagation to mitigate spherical aberration due to the compression plate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 5, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 19, 2003
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventors: Ralph Thomas Hoctor, Kai Erik Thomenius
  • Patent number: 6547733
    Abstract: Ultrasound images are obtained using a set of Golay codes with orthogonal property as ultrasound receiving and transmitting signals. Ultrasound signals having a plurality of codes are transmitted simultaneously by using the orthogonal property of the Golay codes. A superior signal-to-noise rate (SNR) is realized using the Golay codes, without suffering a decrease in the frame rate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Medison Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Jae Sub Hwang, Tai Kyong Song
  • Patent number: 6546276
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for remotely monitoring the location of an interventional medical device (IMD) using ultrasonic signals. Both the proximity and alignment of the IMD are calculated from ultrasound signals reflected off the tissue surface. The inclusion of an offset between the distal end of the IMD and the ultrasound transducer enables accurate position and alignment monitoring of when the IMD is in contact with, or very close to, the tissue surface. The timing of the reflected signal is used to measure proximity or contact. A comparison of the strength between multiple reflected signals is used to measure the alignment of the IMD in 3D space or perpendicularity to a given surface. The present invention may be used as a location indicator within a wide variety of IMDs, and in a wide variety of medical procedures.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2000
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Inventor: Claudio I. Zanelli
  • Patent number: 6544180
    Abstract: A strobed blood flow meter provides periodic measurements of blood flow velocity or volumetric blood flow over a cardiac cycle at reduced average power consumption, which is advantageous for reducing battery size, and extending device battery life, such as in an implantable application. Continuous wave Doppler, pulsed Doppler, laser Doppler, transit time, electromagnetic flow, and thermal dilution techniques are included. Strobing provides higher level excitation during active periods, which improves signal-to-noise ratio, and provides a low power standby mode during an idle time between active periods. The invention may be used for chronic or acute applications. Doppler or other signals may be telemetered from an implanted portion of the flow meter for further signal processing to extract velocity or volumetric flow. Alternatively, such signal processing is also implanted, such that the velocity signal can be telemetered to an remote monitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 30, 1999
    Date of Patent: April 8, 2003
    Assignee: Data Sciences International, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory P. Doten, Brian P. Brockway
  • Patent number: 6475150
    Abstract: A system and method for doing both transmission mode and reflection mode three-dimensional ultrasonic imagining. The multimode imaging capability may be used to provide enhanced detectability of cancer tumors within human breast, however, similar imaging systems are applicable to a number of other medical problems as well as a variety of non-medical problems in non-destructive evaluation (NDE).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 1, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 5, 2002
    Assignee: The Regents of the University of California
    Inventor: Waleed Sami Haddad
  • Patent number: 6315723
    Abstract: An ultrasonic diagnostic imaging system is provided with synthesized transmit focus. Several beams are transmitted, each with a different transmit focus. Echoes received from the differently focused beams are combined to form a scanline with an extended focus. The echoes are preferably weighted and/or phase adjusted prior to being combined. Combining is performed in the r.f. domain before nonlinear processing of the signals such as amplitude detection. The resultant extended focus scanline exhibits the property of dynamic transmit focusing.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 8, 1999
    Date of Patent: November 13, 2001
    Assignee: ATL Ultrasound
    Inventors: Brent Stephen Robinson, Thomas J Sabourin, Clifford R. Cooley
  • Patent number: 6226546
    Abstract: A catheter localization system for generating information appertaining to a three dimensional map of a part of a human or animal body from which three dimensional map a position of said catheter may be determined. The catheter localization system includes a catheter having a catheter head which is arranged in use to be conveyed through the human or animal body to a desired localization, a plurality of acoustic transducers disposed about said catheter head at predetermined localizations and a signal processing unit which operates to determine said three dimensional map of said part of a human or animal body consequent upon signals received by a plurality of acoustic transducers acting as acoustic receivers, which acoustic signals were generated by at least one of said plurality of acoustic transducers acting as an acoustic source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 24, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 1, 2001
    Assignee: Roke Manor Research Limited
    Inventor: Richard John Evans
  • Patent number: 6063034
    Abstract: A strobed blood flow meter provides periodic measurements of blood flow velocity or volumetric blood flow over a cardiac cycle at reduced average power consumption, which is advantageous for reducing battery size, and extending device battery life, such as in an implantable application. Continuous wave Doppler, pulsed Doppler, laser Doppler, transit time, electromagnetic flow, and thermal dilution techniques are included. Strobing provides higher level excitation during active periods, which improves signal-to-noise ratio, and provides a low power standby mode during an idle time between active periods. The invention may be used for chronic or acute applications. Doppler or other signals may be telemetered from an implanted portion of the flow meter for further signal processing to extract velocity or volumetric flow. Alternatively, such signal processing is also implanted, such that the velocity signal can be telemetered to an remote monitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 26, 1998
    Date of Patent: May 16, 2000
    Assignee: Data Sciences International, Inc.
    Inventors: Gregory P. Doten, Brian P. Brockway
  • Patent number: 5951476
    Abstract: Continued bleeding into a pocket or hematoma in the cranium could exert pressure on the brain which would move it relative to the cranium to force the brain stem into the medulla oblongata to arrest breathing. Such brain micromovement is detected by projecting bursts of ultrasound into one or both of the temple areas of the cranium or into the medulla oblongata, and the readout of echoes received from different depths is displayed on a screen. The readout of the echoes indicates continued microshifts of the brain relative to the cranium. To differentiate microshifts of the brain relative to the cranium caused by continued intracranial bleeding as distinguished from pulsations of the brain relative to the cranium caused by supply of blood to the brain from the heart and return of blood from the brain to the heart, the timing of the bursts of ultrasound into the cranium is synchronized with the pulse indicated by a heart pulse monitor.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 14, 1997
    Date of Patent: September 14, 1999
    Inventor: Kirk Watson Beach
  • Patent number: 5851188
    Abstract: A flexible elastomeric annulus-shaped membrane having a shape-retentive memory and exerting a force so as to assume and to maintain a predetermined closed-loop geometric shape, normally a circle, fits circumferentially about the cervix os of a human female so as to hold and retain medical instrumentation probes, preferably two opposed wire-connected ultrasonic transducers of a real-time transit-time ultrasonic monitor of cervical dilatation and effacement. The annular membrane may optionally extend as a tube downwards in the vaginal canal, in the manner of a female diaphragm, as to shield the wires from the walls of the vagina. The membrane expands and contracts with such cyclical variation in the dilatation and effacement of the cervix os as occurs from the earliest onset of labor until imminent childbirth.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 8, 1995
    Date of Patent: December 22, 1998
    Inventors: Kelli M. Bullard, Michael Harrison, W. Scott Kemper, Michael P. Guberek
  • Patent number: 5841889
    Abstract: A method for controlling the contrast resolution and the tissue texture of ultrasonic images employs a signal processing algorithm to adjust an image by changing the tissue texture (speckle grain size). The algorithm increases the image contrast by allocating a different speckle pattern to different grey scale levels. This signal processing algorithm is based on the Hilbert transform. It uses the property of the Hilbert transform to generate a quadrature component of the given image which is modulated by the speckle pattern as well as all other image information. The quadrature component is then squared before being selectively added to or subtracted from the square of the in-phase component of the given image to control the information in the image. The added or subtracted signals have different textures (or spatial frequency components). The arithmetic operation between the in-phase and quadrature phase components determines the image texture.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 1995
    Date of Patent: November 24, 1998
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: Mir Said Seyed-Bolorforosh