Development of a high frame rate ultrasonic system for cardiac imaging in small animals

Lei Sun, Jonathan M. Cannata, Jeffrey A. Johnson, Jesse T. Yen, Ching Feng, K. Kirk Shung

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review


Ultrasound imaging is a well established technology for echocardiography on humans. For cardiac imaging in small animals whose hearts beat at a rate higher than 300 beats per minute, the spatial and temporal resolution of current clinical ultrasonic scanners are far from ideal and simply inadequate for such applications. In this research, a real-time high frequency ultrasound imaging system was developed with a frame rate higher than 80 frames per second (fps) for cardiac applications in small animals. The device has a mechanical sector scanner using magnetic drive mechanism to reduce moving parts and ensure longevity. A very lightweight (< 0.28 g) single element transducer was specially designed and constructed for this research to achieve a frame rate of at least 80 fps. The 30-50 MHz transducers swept through an arc at the end of a pendulum for imaging the heart of small animals. The imaging electronics consisted of a low noise pulser/receiver, a high-speed data acquisition board, and digital signal processing algorithms. In vivo results on mouse embryos showed that real time ultrasound imaging at frame rate exceeding 80 fps could demonstrate detailed depiction of cardiac function with a spatial resolution of around 50 microns, which allows researchers to fully examine and monitor small animal cardiac functions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedical Imaging 2006
Subtitle of host publicationUltrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventMedical Imaging 2006: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: 12 Feb 200616 Feb 2006


ConferenceMedical Imaging 2006: Ultrasonic Imaging and Signal Processing
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego, CA


  • High frame rate
  • High frequency
  • Light weight transducer
  • Small animal imaging
  • Ultrasound imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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