Direct three-dimensional ultrasound-to-video registration using photoacoustic markers

Alexis Cheng, Jin U. Kang, Russell H. Taylor, Emad M. Boctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Modern surgical procedures often have a fusion of video and other imaging modalities to provide the surgeon with information support. This requires interventional guidance equipment and surgical navigation systems to register different tools and devices together, such as stereoscopic endoscopes and ultrasound (US) transducers. In this work, the focus is specifically on the registration between these two devices. Electromagnetic and optical trackers are typically used to acquire this registration, but they have various drawbacks typically leading to target registration errors (TRE) of approximately 3 mm. We introduce photoacoustic markers for direct three-dimensional (3-D) US-to-video registration. The feasibility of this method was demonstrated on synthetic and ex vivo porcine liver, kidney, and fat phantoms with an air-coupled laser and a motorized 3-D US probe. The resulting TRE for each experiment ranged from 380 to 850 μm with standard deviations ranging from 150 to 450 μm. We also discuss a roadmap to bring this system into the surgical setting and possible challenges along the way.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number66013
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2013


  • clinical ultrasound
  • oncology applications
  • optical imaging
  • photoacoustic imaging
  • planning and image guidance of interventions
  • video registration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering


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