Ultrasound imaging is a widely used diagnostic tool but has limitations in the imaging of deep lesions or obese patients where the large depth to aperture size ratio (f-number) reduces image quality. Reducing the f-number can improve image quality, and in this work, we combined three commercial arrays to create a large imaging aperture of 100mm and 384 elements. To maintain the frame rate given the large number of elements, plane wave imaging was implemented with all three arrays transmitting a coherent wavefront. On wire targets at a depth of 100mm, the lateral resolution is significantly improved; the lateral resolution was 1.27mm with one array (1/3 of the aperture) and 0.37mm with the full aperture. After creating virtual receiving elements to fill the inter-array gaps, an autoregressive filter reduced the grating lobes originating from the inter-array gaps by -5.2dB. On a calibrated commercial phantom, the extended field-of-view and improved spatial resolution were verified. The large aperture facilitates aberration correction using a singular value decomposition-based beamformer. Finally, after approval of the Stanford Institutional Review Board, the three-array configuration was applied in imaging the liver of a volunteer, validating the potential for enhanced resolution.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-022-16961-2
View details for PubMedID 35927389