The aim of this PRIN project is to contribute to ultrasound (US) advancement by promoting the use of high-level open platforms and high-tech probes for the development of innovative imaging methods.
The research work joins the efforts of Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) and the Italian universities of Firenze, Pisa, Roma tre, Genova, Bologna and Basilicata and is focused on the development of a new flexible and easily configurable system, improving imaging performances and implementing computerized procedures to simplify the recognition of carotid atherosclerosis and thyroid nodules, in order to aid operators and medical staff in doing diagnosis. To produce high resolution images through improved cMUT probes and newly proposed algorithms, second order effects in the produced echoes are taken into account, and undesired nonlinearities introduced by driving devices of US transducers should be strictly avoided. Our group is involved in the design and the development of both the high linearity/high voltage driver circuit and its power management system, so as to effectively generate both pulsed and shaped US signals with low second harmonic distortion. To that purpose a tight cooperation and dialogue between our lab. and competent companies in the fields of microcircuit design and in medical imaging systems like STMicroelectronics and ESAOTE is established.