Hybrid Packaging and Integration Methods for Miniature Ultrasound Imaging Array

Period of Performance: 04/21/1997 - 07/31/1998


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Tetrad Corp.
357 Inverness Dr. South
Englewood, CO 80112
Principal Investigator


Methods for building a class of sub 5mm diameter ultrasound imaging arrays with integrated electronics were explored in Phase I and the approach investigated was found to be feasible. Arrays for many interventional procedures require two to six centimeters of penetration, need a large number of array elements operating simultaneously to obtain useful resolution and frame rate, and yet must fit within packages smaller than 5mm in diameter. The array fabrication technology and the custom multiplexing circuits that are the subject of this grant address this range of imaging problems. The goal of Phase II, is to implement the methods identified and to build a demonstration device that places a small linear array in a 5mm diameter articulated laparoscopic probe for surgical imaging. Methods for making these probes steam sterilizable (autocalvable) will also be explored. In the near term the combination of miniature ultrasound arrays, position encoding of probes, and image fusion of data sets (these later two technologies are part of the related TRP project) will enable ultrasound guidance of minimally invasive surgical procedures. In the long term this technology will provide the 3-D imaging data sets for robotically assisted surgical procedures. The direct result of this research will be a working laparoscopic or endoscopic ultrasound probe capable of passing through cannulas or body openings as small as 5mm in diameter. There are also several significant indirect results such as the development of a high-performance multiplexer chip for ultrasound applications packaged in a small fraction of the size currently available, and advanced interconnection and thermal management technology. From the probe the military gains a new tool which can be used at forward surgery locations of field hospitals to perform quick exploration of wound sites and internal bleeding. The civilian sector surgeon will gain a small, flexible means to guide minimally invasive surgery and therapy. Other commercial products for related invasive applications will result from the availability of the technologies developed.