Lithium niobate transducers for MRI-guided ultrasonic microsurgery

Spiros Kotopoulis, Han Wang, Sandy Cochran, Michiel Postema

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    14 Citations (Scopus)


    Focused ultrasound surgery (FUS) is usually based on frequencies below 5 MHz-typically around 1 MHz. Although this allows good penetration into tissue, it limits the minimum lesion dimensions that can be achieved. In this study, we investigate devices to allow FUS at much higher frequencies, in principle, reducing the minimum lesion dimensions. Furthermore, FUS can produce deep-sub-millimeter demarcation between viable and necrosed tissue; high-frequency devices may allow this to be exploited in superficial applications which may include dermatology, ophthalmology, treatment of the vascular system, and treatment of early dysplasia in epithelial tissue. In this paper, we explain the methodology we have used to build high-frequency high-intensity transducers using Y-36 degrees-cut lithium niobate. This material was chosen because its low losses give it the potential to allow very-high-frequency operation at harmonics of the fundamental operating frequency. A range of single-element transducers with center frequencies between 6.6 and 20.0 MHz were built and the transducers' efficiency and acoustic power output were measured. A focused 6.6-MHz transducer was built with multiple elements operating together and tested using an ultrasound phantom and MRI scans. It was shown to increase phantom temperature by 32 degrees C in a localized area of 2.5 x 3.4 mm in the plane of the MRI scan. Ex vivo tests on poultry tissue were also performed and shown to create lesions of similar dimensions. This study, therefore, demonstrates that it is feasible to produce high-frequency transducers capable of high-resolution FUS using lithium niobate.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1570-1576
    Number of pages7
    JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011


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