Ultrasound B-mode imaging has been employed to monitor single agents and collective swarms of microrobots in vitro and ex vivo in controlled experimental conditions. However, low contrast and spatial resolution still limit the effective employment of such a method in a medical microrobotic scenario. Doppler-based ultrasound appears as a promising tool for tracking microrobots in echogenic and dynamic environments as biological tissues. In this Letter, we demonstrate that microrobot displacements can be used as a special signature for their visualization within echogenic media, where B-mode fails. To this aim, we induced vibrations of a magnetic soft microrobot through alternated magnetic fields and used ultrasound phase analysis to derive microrobot features such as size and position over time. By exploiting vibrations, we were able to perform imaging and tracking of a low contrast microrobot both in tissue-mimicking phantom and in chicken breast. The axial resolution was 38 μm, which is four times smaller than the B-mode resolution with the employed equipment. We also performed real-time tracking of the microrobot's positions along linear trajectories with a linear velocity up to 1 mm/s. Overall, the reported results pave the way for the application of the proposed approach for the robust monitoring of medical microrobots in tissue.
|Titolo:||Real-time imaging and tracking of microrobots in tissues using ultrasound phase analysis|
PANE, STEFANO (Corresponding)
|Data di pubblicazione:||2021|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo su Rivista/Article|