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Open AccessArticle

A Computationally Efficient Mean Sound Speed Estimation Method Based on an Evaluation of Focusing Quality for Medical Ultrasound Imaging

1
Department of Electronic Engineering, Sogang University, Seoul 04107, Korea
2
Interdisciplinary Program of Integrated Biotechnology, Sogang University, Seoul 04107, Korea
3
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Inje University, Kimhae 50834, Korea
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Electronics 2019, 8(11), 1368; https://doi.org/10.3390/electronics8111368
Received: 4 October 2019 / Revised: 15 November 2019 / Accepted: 16 November 2019 / Published: 18 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Design and Application of Biomedical Circuits and Systems)
Generally, ultrasound receive beamformers calculate the focusing time delays of fixed sound speeds in human tissue (e.g., 1540 m/s). However, phase distortions occur due to variations of sound speeds in soft tissues, resulting in degradation of image quality. Thus, an optimal estimation of sound speed is required in order to improve image quality. Implementation of real-time sound speed estimation is challenging due to high computational and hardware complexities. In this paper, an optimal sound speed estimation method with a low-cost hardware resource is presented. In the proposed method, the optimal mean sound speed is determined by measuring the amplitude variance of pre-beamformed radio-frequency (RF) data. The proposed method was evaluated with phantom and in vivo experiments, and implemented on Virtex-4 with Xilinx ISE 12.4 using VHDL. Experiment results indicate that the proposed method could estimate the mean optimal sound speed and enhance spatial resolution with a negligible increase in the hardware resource usage. View Full-Text
Keywords: phase aberration; receive beamforming; spatial resolution; sound speed estimation phase aberration; receive beamforming; spatial resolution; sound speed estimation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Lee, J.; Yoo, Y.; Yoon, C.; Song, T.-K. A Computationally Efficient Mean Sound Speed Estimation Method Based on an Evaluation of Focusing Quality for Medical Ultrasound Imaging. Electronics 2019, 8, 1368.

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