A 5-MHz cylindrical dual-layer transducer array for 3-D transrectal ultrasound imaging

Ultrason Imaging. 2012 Jul;34(3):181-95. doi: 10.1177/0161734612453279.


Two-dimensional transrectal ultrasound (TRUS) is being used in guiding prostate biopsies and treatments. In many cases, the TRUS probes are moved manually or mechanically to acquire volumetric information, making the imaging slow, user dependent, and unreliable. A real-time three-dimensional (3-D) TRUS system could improve reliability and volume rates of imaging during these procedures. In this article, the authors present a 5-MHz cylindrical dual-layer transducer array capable of real-time 3-D transrectal ultrasound without any mechanically moving parts. Compared with fully sampled 2-D arrays, this design substantially reduces the channel count and fabrication complexity. This dual-layer transducer uses PZT elements for transmit and P[VDF-TrFE] copolymer elements for receive, respectively. The mechanical flexibility of both diced PZT and copolymer makes it practical for transrectal applications. Full synthetic aperture 3-D data sets were acquired by interfacing the transducer with a Verasonics Data Acquisition System. Offline 3-D beamforming was then performed to obtain volumes of two wire phantoms and a cyst phantom. Generalized coherence factor was applied to improve the contrast of images. The measured -6-dB fractional bandwidth of the transducer was 62% with a center frequency of 5.66 MHz. The measured lateral beamwidths were 1.28 mm and 0.91 mm in transverse and longitudinal directions, respectively, compared with a simulated beamwidth of 0.92 mm and 0.74 mm.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Brachytherapy
  • Electric Impedance
  • Equipment Design
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional / instrumentation*
  • Male
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / radiotherapy
  • Rectum*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Signal Processing, Computer-Assisted
  • Transducers*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / instrumentation*