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DampingMRI Resource Directory:<br> - UltraSound Physics -
Damping is a process, material, design, and mounting technique used to reduce the pulse duration or ringing of the transducer. Special material is applied to the back of the transducer in order to reduce the amplitude and pulse length of the sound wave.
Damping improves axial resolution by reducing pulse length. Thereby the lateral resolution increases.
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Ultrasound and k-space K-space transforms of elementary geometriesOpen this link in a new window
   by dukemil.egr.duke.edu    
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Axial ResolutionMRI Resource Directory:<br> - Image Quality -
Axial resolution is the minimum separation between two interfaces located in a direction parallel to the beam (objects above and below each other) so that they can be imaged as two different interfaces. The axial space resolution directly relates with the wave frequency, but higher frequencies have lower penetration into tissues.
The axial resolution is inversely proportional to the frequency of the transducer depending on the size of the patient. The higher the frequency the lower the axial resolution in large patients. This state results from the rapid absorption of the ultrasound energy with lower penetration. Lower frequencies are utilized to increase depth of penetration.
See also Damping.
Radiology-tip.comSpatial Resolution,  Frequency Encoding

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Ultrasound Physics Main differences between Ultrasound and X-rays, Velocity of sound in some Biological MaterialsOpen this link in a new window
   by www.drgdiaz.com    
Physics, instrumentation and basic technique.Open this link in a new window
   by dynamicultrasound.org    
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Ultrasound and k-space K-space transforms of elementary geometriesOpen this link in a new window
   by dukemil.egr.duke.edu    
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TransducerInfoSheet: Probes/Transducers
TransducersMRI Resource Directory:<br> - Probes Transducers -
A transducer is a device, usually electrical or electronic, that converts one type of energy to another. Most transducers are either sensors or actuators. A transducer (also called probe) is a main part of the ultrasound machine. The transducer sends ultrasound waves into the body and receives the echoes produced by the waves when it is placed on or over the body part being imaged.
Ultrasound transducers are made from crystals with piezoelectric properties. This material vibrates at a resonant frequency, when an alternating electric current is applied. The vibration is transmitted into the tissue in short bursts. The speed of transmission within most soft tissues is 1540 m/s, producing a transit time of 6.5 ms/cm. Because the velocity of ultrasound waves is constant, the time taken for the wave to return to the transducer can be used to determine the depth of the object causing the reflection.
The waves will be reflected when they encounter a boundary between two tissues of different density (e.g. soft tissue and bone) and return to the transducer. Conversely, the crystals emit electrical currents when sound or pressure waves hit them (piezoelectric effect). The same crystals can be used to send and receive sound waves; the probe then acts as a receiver, converting mechanical energy back into an electric signal which is used to display an image. A sound absorbing substance eliminates back reflections from the probe itself, and an acoustic lens focuses the emitted sound waves. Then, the received signal gets processed by software to an image which is displayed at a monitor.
Transducer heads may contain one or more crystal elements. In multi-element probes, each crystal has its own circuit. The advantage is that the ultrasound beam can be controlled by changing the timing in which each element gets pulsed. Especially for cardiac ultrasound it is important to steer the beam.
Usually, several different transducer types are available to select the appropriate one for optimal imaging. Probes are formed in many shapes and sizes. The shape of the probe determines its field of view.
Transducers are described in megahertz (MHz) indicating their sound wave frequency. The frequency of emitted sound waves determines how deep the sound beam penetrates and the resolution of the image. Most transducers are only able to emit one frequency because the piezoelectric ceramic or crystals within it have a certain inherent frequency, but multi-frequency probes are also available.
See also Blanking Distance, Damping, Maximum Response Axis, Omnidirectional, and Huygens Principle.

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 Further Reading:
Testing Diagnostic Ultrasound Probes For Bad CrystalsOpen this link in a new window
Saturday, 19 September 1998   by www.pamia.org    
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Ultrasound beamforming and image formation(.pdf)Open this link in a new window
2007   by dukemil.bme.duke.edu    
Transmission Line Matrix (TLM) modelling of medical ultrasound(.pdf)Open this link in a new window
   by www.era.lib.ed.ac.uk    
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