Fiber optic ultrasound generator and detector for high resolution ultrasound imaging

Xiaoyi Bao

Xiaoyi Bao, Professor of Physics and holder of the Canada Research Chair in Fibre Optics and Photonics

Ultrasound systems are the most commonly used equipment in medical settings for diagnosis or internal observation of bio-tissues in real-time. However, the imaging potential of this equipment is surprisingly currently quite limited due to technical constraints. Therefore, to counterpart these limitations, doctors have no other choices than to direct their patients towards other potentially harmful and more expensive imaging systems, such as XRays.

This research aims at pushing back many of these technical limitation by developing a fiber-optic high-frequency ultrasound generation and detection system for ultrasonic and photoacoustic imaging. The results will help develop a more flexible ultrasound system with higher image resolution, smaller captor size, easier and larger calibration options for application in a variety of settings and places such as internal tissues or organs. Working with two industrial partners, who are well positioned for applicability and distribution of the potential product, this collaboration offers a unique chance to quickly develop a well-designed product and to distribute it widely.

One of the expected outcome of this research is a novel biomedical imaging modality to be used, for instance, in Intensive Care Units Sonology for diagnosis and treatment guidance. The proposed research will design a graphene-coated nanofiber device, to be used as a high-frequency ultrasound generator. Note that together will gather an unique mix of expertise that are required to successfully complete this proposed research, and to position Canada as a leader in biomedical ultrasound imaging technics, as well as high frequency ultrasound generation and detection techniques. Four graduate students and one postdoctoral fellow will also participate in this project and therefore benefit from a multidisciplinary and highly qualifying training in academia and industry settings.

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