Building three-dimensional images using a time-reversal chaotic cavity

IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control. 2005 Sep;52(9):1489-97. doi: 10.1109/tuffc.2005.1516021.


The design of two-dimensional (2-D) arrays for three-dimensional (3-D) ultrasonic imaging is a major challenge in medical and nondestructive applications. Thousands of transducers are typically needed for focusing and steering in a 3-D volume. In this article, we propose a different concept allowing us to obtain electronic 3-D focusing with a small number of transducers. The basic idea is to couple a small number of transducers to a chaotic reverberating cavity with one face in contact with the body of the patient. The reverberations of the ultrasonic waves inside the cavity create at each reflection virtual transducers. The cavity acts as an ultrasonic kaleidoscope multiplying the small number of transducers and creating a much larger virtual transducer array. By exploiting time-reversal processing, it is possible to use collectively all the virtual transducers to focus a pulse everywhere in a 3-D volume. The reception process is based on a nonlinear pulse-inversion technique in order to ensure a good contrast. The feasibility of this concept for the building of 3-D images was demonstrated using a prototype relying only on 31 emission transducers and a single reception transducer.

MeSH terms

  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Echocardiography, Three-Dimensional / methods*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Scattering, Radiation
  • Sensitivity and Specificity
  • Transducers*