A novel, flat, electronically-steered phased array transducer for tissue ablation: Preliminary results

Nicholas P.K. Ellens, Benjamin B.C. Lucht, Samuel T. Gunaseelan, John M. Hudson, Kullervo H. Hynynen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Flat, λ/2-spaced phased arrays for therapeutic ultrasound were examined in silico and in vitro. All arrays were made by combining modules made of 64 square elements with 1.5mm inter-element spacing along both major axes. The arrays were designed to accommodate integrated, co-aligned diagnostic transducers for targeting and monitoring. Six arrays of 1024 elements (16 modules) and four arrays of 6144 elements (96 modules) were modelled and compared according to metrics such as peak pressure amplitude, focal size, ability to be electronically-steered far off-axis and grating lobe amplitude. Two 1024 element prototypes were built and measured in vitro, producing over 100W of acoustic power. In both cases, the simulation model of the pressure amplitude field was in good agreement with values measured by hydrophone. Using one of the arrays, it was shown that the peak pressure amplitude dropped by only 24% and 25% of the on-axis peak pressure amplitude when steered to the edge of the array (40 mm) at depths of 30mm and 50mm. For the 6144 element arrays studied in in silico only, similarly high steerability was found: even when steered 100mm off-axis, the pressure amplitude decrease at the focus was less than 20%, while the maximum pressure grating lobe was only 20%. Thermal simulations indicate that the modules produce more than enough acoustic power to perform rapid ablations at physiologically relevant depths and steering angles. Arrays such as proposed and tested in this study have enormous potential: their high electronic steerability suggests that they will be able to perform ablations of large volumes without the need for any mechanical translation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2195-2215
Number of pages21
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 21 2015


  • focused ultrasound
  • high-intensity focused ultrasound
  • image-guided surgery
  • phased arrays
  • uterine fibroid ablation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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