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 'Resonant Frequency' 
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Resonant FrequencyMRI Resource Directory:<br> - UltraSound Physics -
 
The resonant frequency is the frequency at which a piezoelectric ceramic (crystal) will vibrate most efficiently. At the resonant frequency the crystal will produce the highest output with the least amount of voltage applied.
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Fundamental FrequencyMRI Resource Directory:<br> - UltraSound Physics -
 
The fundamental frequency is the natural or resonant frequency of a system and the first harmonic of a system's oscillation.
See also Subharmonic Imaging.
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Harmonic ImagingOpen this link in a new window
   by www.imasonic.com    
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Mechanical IndexMRI Resource Directory:<br> - Safety -
 
(MI) The mechanical index is an estimate of the maximum amplitude of the pressure pulse in tissue. It is an indicator of the likelihood of mechanical bioeffects (streaming and cavitation). The mechanical index of the ultrasound beam is the amount of negative acoustic pressure within a ultrasonic field and is used to modulate the output signature of US contrast agents and to incite different microbubble responses.
The mechanical index is defined as the peak rarefactional pressure (negative pressure) divided by the square root of the ultrasound frequency.
The FDA ultrasound regulations allow a mechanical index of up to 1.9 to be used for all applications except ophthalmic (maximum 0.23). The used range varies from 0.05 to 1.9.
At low acoustic power, the acoustic response is considered as linear. At a low MI (less than 0.2), the microbubbles undergo oscillation with compression and rarefaction that are equal in amplitude and no special contrast enhanced signal is created. Microbubbles act as strong scattering objects due to the difference in impedance between air and liquid, and the acoustic response is optimized at the resonant frequency of a microbubble.
At higher acoustic power (MI between 0.2–0.5), nonlinear oscillation occurs preferentially with the bubbles undergoing rarefaction that is greater than compression. Ultrasound waves are created at harmonics of the delivered frequency. The harmonic response frequencies are different from that of the incident wave (fundamental frequency) with subharmonics (half of the fundamental frequency), harmonics (including the second harmonic response at twice the fundamental frequency), and ultra-harmonics obtained at 1.5 or 2.5 times the fundamental frequency. These contrast enhanced ultrasound signals are microbubble-specific.
At high acoustic power (MI greater than 0.5), microbubble destruction begins with emission of high intensity transient signals very rich in nonlinear components. Intermittent imaging becomes needed to allow the capillaries to be refilled with fresh microbubbles. Microbubble destruction occurs to some degree at all mechanical indices. A mechanical index from 0.8 to 1.9 creates high microbubble destruction. The output signal is unique to the contrast agent.
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 Further Reading:
  Basics:
Guidelines for the Safe Use of Diagnostic Ultrasound(.pdf)Open this link in a new window
   by folk.ntnu.no    
  News & More:
Harmonic ImagingOpen this link in a new window
   by www.imasonic.com    
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Piezoelectric CrystalMRI Resource Directory:<br> - UltraSound Physics -
 
A piezoelectric crystal changes the physical dimensions when subjected to an electric field. When deformed by external pressure, an electric field is created across the crystal. Piezoelectric ceramic and crystals are used in ultrasound transducers to transmit and receive ultrasound waves.
The piezoelectric crystal in ultrasound transducers has electrodes attached to its front and back for the application and detection of electrical charges. The crystal consists of numerous dipoles, and in the normal state, the individual dipoles have an oblique orientation with no net surface charge.
In ultrasound physics, an electric field applied across the crystal will realign the dipoles and results in compression or expansion of the crystal, depending on the direction of the electric field. For the transmission of a short ultrasound pulse, a voltage spike of very short duration is applied, causing the crystal to initially contract and then vibrate for a short time with its resonant frequency.
See also Composite Array, Transducer Pulse Control, and Temporal Peak Intensity.
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  Basics:
Physics Tutorial: Ultrasound PhysicsOpen this link in a new window
   by www.physics247.com    
Ultrasound in diagnostic and therapyOpen this link in a new window
   by www.anst.uu.se    
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TransducerInfoSheet: Probes/Transducers
Intro,
Probes, 
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:
  Basics:
Testing Diagnostic Ultrasound Probes For Bad CrystalsOpen this link in a new window
Saturday, 19 September 1998   by www.pamia.org    
  News & More:
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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