Medical microrobots (MRs) hold the potential to radically transform several interventional procedures. However, to guarantee therapy success when operating in hard-to-reach body districts, a precise and robust imaging strategy is required for monitoring and controlling MRs in real-time. Ultrasound (US) may represent a powerful technology, but MRs' visibility with US needs to be improved, especially when targeting echogenic tissues. In this context, motions of MRs have been exploited to enhance their contrast, e.g., by Doppler imaging. To exploit a more selective contrast-enhancement mechanism, in this study, we analyze in detail the characteristic motions of one of the most widely adopted MR concepts, i.e., the helical propeller, with a particular focus on its interactions with the backscattered US waves. We combine a kinematic analysis of the propeller 3D motion with an US acoustic phase analysis (APA) performed on the raw radio frequency US data in order to improve imaging and tracking in bio-mimicking environments. We validated our US-APA approach in diverse scenarios, aimed at simulating realistic in vivo conditions, and compared the results to those obtained with standard US Doppler. Overall, our technique provided a precise and stable feedback to visualize and track helical propellers in echogenic tissues (chicken breast), tissue-mimicking phantoms with bifurcated lumina, and in the presence of different motion disturbances (e.g., physiological flows and tissue motions), where standard Doppler showed poor performance. Furthermore, the proposed US-APA technique allowed for real-time estimation of MR velocity, where standard Doppler failed.

Contrast-enhanced ultrasound tracking of helical propellers with acoustic phase analysis and comparison with color Doppler

Pane, S
;
Iacovacci, V
;
Menciassi, A
2022

Abstract

Medical microrobots (MRs) hold the potential to radically transform several interventional procedures. However, to guarantee therapy success when operating in hard-to-reach body districts, a precise and robust imaging strategy is required for monitoring and controlling MRs in real-time. Ultrasound (US) may represent a powerful technology, but MRs' visibility with US needs to be improved, especially when targeting echogenic tissues. In this context, motions of MRs have been exploited to enhance their contrast, e.g., by Doppler imaging. To exploit a more selective contrast-enhancement mechanism, in this study, we analyze in detail the characteristic motions of one of the most widely adopted MR concepts, i.e., the helical propeller, with a particular focus on its interactions with the backscattered US waves. We combine a kinematic analysis of the propeller 3D motion with an US acoustic phase analysis (APA) performed on the raw radio frequency US data in order to improve imaging and tracking in bio-mimicking environments. We validated our US-APA approach in diverse scenarios, aimed at simulating realistic in vivo conditions, and compared the results to those obtained with standard US Doppler. Overall, our technique provided a precise and stable feedback to visualize and track helical propellers in echogenic tissues (chicken breast), tissue-mimicking phantoms with bifurcated lumina, and in the presence of different motion disturbances (e.g., physiological flows and tissue motions), where standard Doppler showed poor performance. Furthermore, the proposed US-APA technique allowed for real-time estimation of MR velocity, where standard Doppler failed.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/550591
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