Manufacturing Research and Development of 2D Electrostrictive Ultrasonic Arrays

Period of Performance: 08/01/2007 - 01/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Acoustx Corporation
Redmond, WA 98052
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Proposed is the development of manufacturing processes for electrostrictive arrays allowing for real-time ultrasound volumetric imaging. To date, the commercial development of 2D transducer arrays having thousands of array elements has been significantly limited due to manufacturing inefficiencies, transducer element sensitivity; the complexity associated with the driving circuitry and interconnect density. The proposed research and development herein will simplify the interconnects and optimize the beam forming capabilities of the array. AcousTx's experience in novel piezoelectric processing and fabrication techniques will allow for the development of commercially efficient and low cost manufacturing processes. The proposed near term product is a row/column (128 elements by 128 elements) electrostrictive array for volumetric imaging having extensive applications in the fields of radiology, obstetrics and gynecology. Beyond this near term market, lies the potential to combine efficient 2D electrostrictive arrays with the commercially viable and low cost manufacturing processes allowing real time ultrasound large aperture volumetric imaging to become common place in clinics for purposes of i) Advanced non-invasive diagnostic procedures (e.g. breast cancer, internal bleeding, heart arrhythmias etc.), ii) Non-invasive inter-operative guidance for minimally invasive surgery and iii) Combined imaging and therapeutic ultrasound applications. The Phase One effort has the following objectives: i) Develop and optimize the electrostrictive array fabrication processing steps ii) Develop interconnect capability optimized for manufacturing efficiency, iii) Develop beam forming and focusing capabilities in 3D and iv) Evaluate and test a 2D (48 element by 48 element) electrostrictive row/column array prototype. Based upon the successful completion of the Phase One aims, the proposed Phase Two work will be directed towards i) developing/optimizing scalable manufacturing methods to produce a 128 x128 element 2D volume imaging array with a center frequency of 5MHz and ii) packaging the array, design and fabrication of the bias hardware and control circuitry and an iii) internal clinical study to evaluate performance. This proposal is in response to PA-06-013 which is in response to an Executive Order 13329 from the President of the United States placing high priority on SBIR programs directed to Manufacturing Research and Development.