CD Laboratory
(images used with permission of GE Healthcare)

CD lab­o­ra­tory for math­e­mat­i­cal mod­el­ling and sim­u­la­tion of next-generation med­ical ul­tra­sound de­vices

This CD lab is con­cerned with de­vel­op­ing new meth­ods for pre­na­tal ul­tra­sound di­ag­nos­tics. The long term goal is im­prov­ing di­ag­noses for, at present, chal­leng­ing to image pa­tients.

Due to ul­tra­sound di­ag­nos­tics, the pro­ce­dure of med­ical ex­am­i­na­tions of preg­nant women has changed sub­stan­tially in the last 40 years. Today it is used as a screen­ing and di­ag­nos­tic tool dur­ing preg­nancy to recog­nise po­ten­tial fetal dis­eases.

In ad­di­tion to de­ter­min­ing the length of preg­nancy and risk of preterm de­liv­ery, iden­ti­fy­ing chro­mo­so­mal anom­alies, mul­ti­ples, phys­i­cal im­pair­ments, and more are rou­tine ap­pli­ca­tions of ul­tra­sound. In­creas­ingly, it is also utilised for the intra-​uterine treat­ment of the fetus, for ex­am­ple, in case of heart de­fects. All of the use-​cases above re­quire ad­e­quate imag­ing qual­ity.

Nev­er­the­less, sit­u­a­tions with in­suf­fi­cient imag­ing qual­ity exist: pre­lim­i­nary stud­ies showed dras­tic re­duc­tions in image qual­ity on fetus ex­am­i­na­tions due to changes in sound speed in the ab­dom­i­nal layer. In­creas­ingly, obe­sity is a prob­lem as fat and mus­cle lay­ers in­ter­fere with image qual­ity con­sid­er­ably.

A de­tailed un­der­stand­ing of the in­volved phys­i­cal prin­ci­ples is es­sen­tial to com­pen­sate for such dis­rup­tive fac­tors. There­fore, this CD lab ex­plores math­e­mat­i­cal mod­els from pro­to­type new ul­tra­sound de­vices, sim­u­lates their ca­pa­bil­i­ties nu­mer­i­cally, im­ple­ments these pro­to­types, and fi­nally eval­u­ates them in med­ical prac­tice. This re­search has been de­signed in­ter­dis­ci­pli­nary and in­volves math­e­mati­cians, med­ical physi­cists and physi­cians.