/New Imaging Algorithms for New Ultra-Sensitive Ultrasound Probes

New Imaging Algorithms for New Ultra-Sensitive Ultrasound Probes

Master projects/internships - Leuven | More than two weeks ago

Help to create the next generation of biomedical ultrasound images.

Ultrasound imaging is widely used as a diagnostic imaging technique. It is particularly used to create images of internal body structures such as tendons, muscles, joints and blood vessels. Increasing the sensitivity of ultrasound sensors is of foremost importance to increase its usefulness for imaging deeper tissues and internal organs 


Imec is currently developing highly efficient ultrasound sensors, based on innovative opto-mechanical designs shown in Fig 1. The bandwidth and sensitivity of these new sensors far outperform their predecessors and makes them ideal for ultrasound imaging. The goal of this research is to couple imec’s new opto-mechanical sensors with imec’s state-of-the-art CMOS-compatible PMUT transmitters thus creating a new type of ultrasonic transmit-receive system. To take advantage of this technology for ultrasound imaging requires the development of bespoke ultrasound imaging algorithms tailored to the design constraints of this new system.  


Some of the challenges to be overcome relate to internal reverberations that mask the received signals and tuning the imaging algorithm to the image target itself. The final goal is to demonstrate that such a system can be used to generate a meaningful ultrasound image and to benchmark the image quality including contrast and SNR with respect to the current state-of-the-art technology. This has potential for improved diagnoses eg. visualization of nerves in the prostate, identification of perfusion ablated tissue or tumours, indeed this work will be in collaboration with experts based in UZ Gasthuisberg.   


The key requirement for this work will be the development of bespoke ultrasound imaging algorithms that require manipulation of radio-frequency ultrasound signals corresponding to an array of receive sensors. As such, the candidate should be actively interested in learning about the ultrasound system as a whole ie. signal actuation and sensing as this will be required to understand how we can effectively manipulate the received signals to generate meaningful images. 


You should be a team player and have good communication skills as you will work in a multidisciplinary and multicultural team. Given the international character of imec, an excellent knowledge of English is a must. If interested, please contact Marcus Ingram at marcus.ingram@imec.be or Jan D'hooge at jan.dhooge@kuleuven.be for more information.


Type of project: Thesis


Required degree: Master of Science, Master of Engineering Technology, Master of Engineering Science

Required background: Electrotechnics/Electrical Engineering, Physics, Electromechanical engineering, Computer Science

Supervising scientist(s): For further information or for application, please contact: Marcus Ingram (Marcus.Ingram@imec.be) and Veronique Rochus (Veronique.Rochus@imec.be)