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Microbubble Axial Localization Errors in Ultrasound Super-Resolution Imaging

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Title: Microbubble Axial Localization Errors in Ultrasound Super-Resolution Imaging
Authors: Christensen-Jeffries, K
Harput, S
Brown, J
Wells, PNT
Aljabar, P
Dunsby, CW
Tang, M
Eckersley, RJ
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Acoustic super-resolution imaging has allowed visualization of microvascular structure and flow beyond the diffraction limit using standard clinical ultrasound systems through the localization of many spatially isolated microbubble signals. The determination of each microbubble position is typically performed by calculating the centroid, finding a local maximum, or finding the peak of a 2-D Gaussian function fit to the signal. However, the backscattered signal from a microbubble depends not only on diffraction characteristics of the waveform, but also on the microbubble behavior in the acoustic field. Here, we propose a new axial localization method by identifying the onset of the backscattered signal. We compare the accuracy of localization methods using in vitro experiments performed at 7 cm depth and 2.3 MHz center frequency. We corroborate these findings with simulated results based on the Marmottant model. We show experimentally and in simulations that detecting the onset of the returning signal provides considerably increased accuracy for super-resolution. Resulting experimental cross-sectional profiles in super-resolution images demonstrate at least 5.8 times improvement in contrast ratio and more than 1.8 reduction in spatial spread (provided by 90% of the localizations) for the onset method over centroiding, peak detection and 2D Gaussian fitting methods. Simulations estimate that these latter methods could create errors in relative bubble positions as high as 900 μ m at these experimental settings, while the onset method reduced the interquartile range of these errors by a factor of over 2.2. Detecting the signal onset is therefore expected to considerably improve the accuracy of super-resolution.
Issue Date: 17-Aug-2017
Date of Acceptance: 6-Jul-2017
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/50337
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TUFFC.2017.2741067
ISSN: 0885-3010
Publisher: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Start Page: 1644
End Page: 1654
Journal / Book Title: IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
Volume: 64
Issue: 11
Copyright Statement: © 2017 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC)
Funder's Grant Number: EP/N015487/1
Keywords: 02 Physical Sciences
09 Engineering
Publication Status: Published online
Appears in Collections:Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences
Faculty of Engineering