MENU

3-band ultrasound probes for improved imaging and treatment of cancer

Current ultrasound transducers have resonant operation in a single frequency band to transmit and receive single band ultrasound pulses, for example centered around 10 mhz. The new imaging technology developed at ntnu and surf, uses dual band transmitted pulse complexes,for example pulse complexes

The project addresses development of new, 3-band ultrasound transducer and probe technology for a) improved 3-dimensional imaging of cancer tumors, and b) ultrasound mediated delivery of chemotherapy drugs to cancer tumors for improved treatment of cancer. The new imaging methods have a potential for earlier detection of cancer tumors that can be valuable for improved screening for several types of cancers, for example breast, prostate, and pancreatic cancer. The project is a collaboration between the Norwegian company SURF Technology AS and the French company Vermon SA. SURF Technology AS is a start-up company established to further develop and industrialise new multi frequency ultrasound technology developed at NTNU - The Norwegian University of Science and Technology. Vermon SA is a French company with a strong expertise in developing and building ultrasound transducer array technology for medical applications. Current ultrasound transducers have resonant operation in a single frequency band to transmit and receive single band ultrasound pulses, for example centered around 10 MHz. The new imaging technology developed at NTNU and SURF, uses dual band transmitted pulse complexes, for example pulse complexes composed of a high frequency (HF) pulse centered around 10 MHz, and a low frequency (LF) pulse centered at 1 MHz. The LF pulse is used to nonlinearly manipulate the object elasticity observed by the co-propagating HF pulse. The advantage of the method is i) improved suppression of image noise which enhances the differentiation of cancer tissue from normal tissue, ii) improved imaging of micro bubble contrast agent to detect increased growth of capillaries in the tumor, and iii) imaging of micro-calcifications which currently is detected with XRay imaging to screen for breast cancer. In experimental work at NTNU one have been able to show that 10 MHz ultrasound pulses produce increased transport of large molecule and nano-particle cancer drugs from the tumor capillaries and deep into the tumor interstitium, i.e. the intracellular space between cancer cells. The physical effect behind this increased transport is ultrasound radiation force. One has further been able to show that low frequency ultrasound around 0.3MHz has increased capability to break nanoparticles containing drug, to release the drug in the cancer tumor interstitium. Other groups have shown that that the use of low frequency, high mechanical index, ultrasound produces increased transport of large molecular and nano-particle drugs across biological membranes, such as the cell membranes of cancer cells or the blood brain barrier (BBB). There is hence a need for ultrasound transducer technology that can both simultaneously and sequentially transmit ultrasound pulses in three separate frequency bands (e.g. 10MHz/1MHz/0.3MHz) along the same beam axis. There is also a need to be able to scan the beam direction in three dimensions within a selectable region of a tissue (e.g. prostate or breast) that can potentially contain a cancer tumor, for detection of the tumor, and also improve the delivery of drugs to the tumor. The project addresses these needs. Major parts of the project: WP1. Initial 3-band array design based on computer simulations. 01.01.2014 – 30.03.2014 Seletction of materials and dimensions. Carried through at SURF Technology in collaboration with Vermon. WP2. Testbuilding of selected components of the 3-band array 01.04.2013 – 30.06.2014 Carried through at Vermon. WP3. Building and testing of 1st prototype array. 01.07.2014 – 30.11.2014 Carried through at Vermon in collaboration with SURF Technology. WP4. Building and testing of 2nd prototype array. 01.12.2014 – 31.03.2015 Carried through at Vermon in collaboration with SURF Technology. WP5. Building and testing of 3rd prototype array. 01.04.2015 – 31.07.2015 Carried through at Vermon in collaboration with SURF Technology. WP6. Development of 3D scanning mechanism. 01.11.2014 – 30.06.2015 Carried through at Vermon in collaboration with SURF Technology. WP7. Testing and modifications of 3D beam scanning. 01.07.2015 – 30.10.2015 Building carried through at Vermon. Testing carried through at SURF Technology.
Acronym: 
3BUS
Project ID: 
9 132
Start date: 
01-01-2014
Project Duration: 
24months
Project costs: 
640 000.00€
Technological Area: 
Apparatus Engineering
Market Area: 
Diagnostic

Raising the productivity and competitiveness of European businesses through technology. Boosting national economies on the international market, and strengthening the basis for sustainable prosperity and employment.