In medical ultrasound, probe refers to the ultrasoundtransducer. The probe covers the elements, backing material, electrodes, matching layer and protective face that both sends and receives the sound waves.
The reflected ultrasound waves are received by the probe and generate a signal. Most probes emit only for 10% of time and receive for the remaining 90% of time. Probes come in different shapes and sizes for use in different scanning situations. The most common mechanical transducers are oscillating probes and the rotating probes driven by a motor. Mechanical probes produce excellent images, but are more subject to wear than electrical probes. Electrical probes are generally more expensive than mechanical probes.
See also Omnidirectional, Probe Cleaning, and Multi-frequency Probe.