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Quantification of SubHarmonic Dynamic Contrast-Enhanced Ultrasound signal for Liver Cancer Diagnosis

The aim of this project is to investigate the quantification accuracy of subharmonic DCE imaging in liver cancer. Traditionally, DCE is performed via detection of the first harmonic signal, to which microbubble contrast agents contribute proportionally more than static tissue. This occurs due to the non-linear interaction of the incident ultrasound beam energy with the microbubbles. However, the tissue harmonic signal also contributes to the detected signal, lowering the contrast deriving solely from the microbubbles themselves.

It has long been known that microbubbles also generate subharmonic components, absent from static tissue, and hence subharmonic (SH) signal detection may provide enhanced contrast for the microbubbles, increasing signal detectability from the vasculature. In this work, we are investigating ways of optimising the SH signal, and developing a test phantom device on which to quantify signal enhancements using the newly-developed methodology.

Scanning Acoustic Macroscope system, for characterising microbubble solutions

Set-up used to characterise microbubble contrast agent solutions, comprising single element transducers used for transmit and detection

Scanning Acoustic Macroscope system, for characterising microbubble solutions