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Quantitative comparison of PZT and CMUT probes for photoacoustic imaging: Experimental validation

Published on 29 March 2018
Quantitative comparison of PZT and CMUT probes for photoacoustic imaging: Experimental validation
Vallet M., Varray F., Boutet J., Dinten J.-M., Caliano G., Savoia A.S., Vray D.
Univ Lyon, INSA-Lyon, Université Lyon 1, UJM-Saint Etienne, CNRS, Inserm, CREATIS UMR 5220, U1206, Lyon, France, CEA-LETI, MINATEC, Grenoble, France, Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi Roma Tre, Rome, Italy
Photoacoustic (PA) signals are short ultrasound (US) pulses typically characterized by a single-cycle shape, often referred to as N-shape. The spectral content of such wideband signals ranges from a few hundred kilohertz to several tens of megahertz. Typical reception frequency responses of classical piezoelectric US imaging transducers, based on PZT technology, are not sufficiently broadband to fully preserve the entire information contained in PA signals, which are then filtered, thus limiting PA imaging performance. Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUT) are rapidly emerging as a valid alternative to conventional PZT transducers in several medical ultrasound imaging applications. As compared to PZT transducers, CMUTs exhibit both higher sensitivity and significantly broader frequency response in reception, making their use attractive in PA imaging applications. This paper explores the advantages of the CMUT larger bandwidth in PA imaging by carrying out an experimental comparative study using various CMUT and PZT probes from different research laboratories and manufacturers. PA acquisitions are performed on a suture wire and on several home-made bimodal phantoms with both PZT and CMUT probes. Three criteria, based on the evaluation of pure receive impulse response, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and contrast-to-noise ratio (CNR) respectively, have been used for a quantitative comparison of imaging results. The measured fractional bandwidths of the CMUT arrays are larger compared to PZT probes. Moreover, both SNR and CNR are enhanced by at least 6 dB with CMUT technology. This work highlights the potential of CMUT technology for PA imaging through qualitative and quantitative parameters. © 2017 The Authors
CMUT, Photoacoustic, PZT, Ultrasound imaging
Bandwidth, Frequency response, Impulse response, Information filtering, Medical imaging, Photoacoustic effect, Piezoelectric transducers, Probes, Research laboratories, Signal to noise ratio, Transducers, Ultrasonic imaging, Capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer, CMUT, Contrast to noise ratio, Experimental validations, Medical ultrasound imaging, Quantitative comparison, Quantitative parameters, Ultrasound imaging, Ultrasonic transducers

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