High-Efficiency, High-Power Ultrasound Transducer

The Challenges: Handheld and mobile imaging systems are the fastest growing market segment within the medical ultrasound industry, both in developed and developing markets. Among the major competitive factors, image quality, device weight and battery life are currently major drivers. There are traditionally limiting trade offs between these factors, with each manufacturer forced to choose which axis to maximize at the expense of others.

The Solution: This new method of driving piezoelectric ultrasound transducers results from fundamental physical insights into the behavior of these crystals on the atomic scale. The research team combines deep materials science with leading-edge medical applications in order to apply this groundbreaking invention.

The new method of “biphasic” driving of the piezo can deliver up to twice as much acoustic output for the same amount of electrical input power in a conventional system. Initial lab experiments have demonstrated a doubling of power efficiency when driving ring transducers at 500 kHz. This work is currently being extended to demonstrations in other transducer configurations and operating regimes, specifically phased-array imaging.

This potential reduction in electrical consumption will provide a substantial benefit in cooling requirements for high performance ultrasound imaging systems (medical or industrial). It could also leader to significantly lighter-weight, and/or longer battery life in highly portable ultrasound imagers.

This technology can finally break through the old tradeoffs between performance, device weight, and battery life.

Inventors

  • Professor Oleg Rubel
  • Dr. Samuel Pichardo
  • Dr. Laura Curiel

Status

We are actively seeking interested industrial partners to explore the benefits of this technology in their ultrasound imaging applications, and to collaborate on the development of commercial applications.

MaRS Innovation Contact

David Asgeirsson