Multiplexed ultrasound beam summation for side lobe reduction

Asaf Ilovitsh, Tali Ilovitsh, Katherine W. Ferrara*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Two-way focusing, which relies on sweeping a focused beam across a field of view, is the conventional method for performing high-quality ultrasound imaging. Side lobes resulting from diffraction reduce the image contrast, thus degrade the image quality. In this paper, we present a new method for beam shaping the transmitted ultrasound waveform in order to reduce side lobes and improve image quality. The beam shaping is achieved by transmitting two different waveforms that are interlaced between the odd and even elements. One waveform generates a standard diffraction-limited single focus, and the second waveform generates two foci at the same focal depth as the single focus. The distance between the two foci is selected such that they will destructively interfere with the first order side lobes of the single focus, effectively eliminating these side lobes. A 7.5 dB side lobe reduction was measured experimentally at a depth of 60 mm, using a phased array transducer with a center frequency of 3 MHz. This real-time method utilizes standard receive beamforming, identical to traditional two-way focusing, and does not require post-processing. The method can be implemented with conventional ultrasound systems, without the need for additional components. The proposed method is described analytically, optimized via numerical simulation, and validated by experiments using wire targets, tissue-mimicking phantoms, and in vivo imaging of the rat bladder.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13961
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


FundersFunder number
National Institutes of Health
National Cancer InstituteR01CA211602


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