Our work involves developing quantitative methods in medical ultrasound. Within that effort are developments of experimental methods for estimating specific parameters (such as the acoustic backscatter coefficient (to quantify acoustic scattering on an absolute scale), effective scatterer size (to describe the tissue microstructure), and the nonlinear elastic modulus (to describe the tissue stiffness on an absolute scale)). Also within that effort are developments of test objects with known material properties (phantoms) that can be used to evaluate performance of these quantitative techniques, and performance descriptors that provide metrics to compare performance. The effort also involves integration of these methods into clinical imaging systems and tests in animal models, clinical trials in human subjects, and observer performance studies to test efficacy.
Our work involves a close collaboration with Siemens Medical Solutions Ultrasound Division and Siemens Corporate Research. That collaboration gives us access to their clinical imaging systems at the same level as their research and development engineers.
We are funded by the NIH to investigate breast tissue properties with ultrasound. A parallel effort investigates uterine cervix assessment associated with pre-term birth and predicting successful post-date inductions.