We introduce a modular ultrasound paradigm, focusing on its use of ultrasound thermometry. Thermotherapy is a medical procedure by which thermal energy is delivered to a target to induce desired clinical outcomes. It has been applied for various medical treatments such as ablation and hypothermia therapy. To achieve precise and reproducible results in thermotherapy, temperature monitoring during the procedure is particularly important. To provide temperature information for thermotherapy, we develop an ultrasound thermal monitoring method using a speed of sound tomographic approach coupled with a biophysical heat diffusion model. The system only requires simple hardware additions, such as external ultrasound sensors, to implement temperature monitoring at a reduced cost. Deep learning approaches are also used to obtain thermal images by training temperature distribution models using corresponding ultrasound data changes. Temperature images are achieved by leveraging only few ultrasound elements during thermotherapy. The modular ultrasound concept can also be extended for single-element ultrasound imaging and surgical tool tracking.
Younsu Kim joined MUSIIC (Medical UltraSound Imaging and Intervention Collaboration) research laboratory at Johns Hopkins university since 2014. Prior to joining Ph.D program, he worked as a research engineer at department of advanced technology in LG Electronics Inc, Korea. He received his B.E. degree in micro-electrical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, and he earned a masters degree in electrical and computer engineering from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, US. His research interests include ultrasound thermal monitoring and interventional ultrasound-guided technologies.