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JP2009031268

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DESCRIPTION JP2009031268
PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a novel ultrasonic probe optimum for imaging the internal
structure of an object to be inspected by using a photoacoustic effect, and an inspection
apparatus using the ultrasonic probe. Do. SOLUTION: A light emitting unit for emitting light to
generate an ultrasonic wave from a light absorber, and an ultrasonic probe that converts an
ultrasonic wave generated by light from the light emitting unit into an electric signal And a light
guide plate for introducing light from the light source into the light irradiation unit. In addition, a
light irradiation area of the light irradiation unit is included in the ultrasonic wave receiving area
of the ultrasonic conversion unit. [Selected figure] Figure 10
Ultrasonic probe, inspection apparatus provided with the ultrasonic probe
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe (ultrasound probe) for inspection using a
photoacoustic effect, and an inspection apparatus provided with the ultrasonic probe.
[0002]
As described in Patent Document 1, an inspection apparatus capable of acquiring a tomogram or
a three-dimensional image of a sample using a photoacoustic effect has been proposed.
This technique is generally known as PhotoAcoustic Tomography, and its initial acronym is called
PAT technique.
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[0003]
Imaging by the PAT technique is performed as follows. 1) Irradiate light from the outside of the
sample. 2) Light propagates inside the sample. 3) Light is absorbed at a location where the light
absorption coefficient is present inside the sample. 4) The place is heated by the light absorption.
5) The heated part expands. 6) Ultrasonic waves are generated with the expansion. 7) Ultrasonic
waves propagate in the sample. 8) Receive propagating ultrasonic waves using an ultrasonic
probe. 9) Analyze the time difference, etc. of the arriving ultrasonic waves, and reconstruct a
tomogram or three-dimensional image of the sample.
[0004]
As described above, PAT technology is based on relatively simple processing, and that the light
source and the ultrasonic probe itself can be used as they are for other applications, and so on.
As the examination is underway. In particular, application to a biological information inspection
apparatus for obtaining a high resolution tomogram is expected.
[0005]
By the way, although there is a demand to irradiate light to the object from a position close to the
inspection object in the PAT technology, there is a problem that the ultrasonic probe itself which
is a receiver interferes with it. .
[0006]
Therefore, in Patent Document 2, in order to solve this problem, an ultrasound probe 1100
shown in FIG. 11 is proposed.
[0007]
Reference numeral 1110 in FIG. 11 denotes an ultrasonic transducer (transducing element),
which is arranged at a predetermined interval.
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An optical fiber 1120 (light irradiator) is provided in the gap, and a predetermined light is
emitted from this toward the inspection object.
The ultrasonic wave generated by light absorption of the tissue (light absorber) inside the
inspection object is converted into an electric signal by the ultrasonic converter 1110.
[0008]
As described above, in Patent Document 2, since the light irradiation area is provided between
the respective ultrasonic wave reception areas, compared with the case where light is emitted
from the periphery of the ultrasonic probe 1100, the ultrasonic probe itself is There is less
negative impact. U.S. Pat. No. 4,385,634 U.S. Pat. No. 2005/0004458.
[0009]
However, even with the ultrasonic probe described in Patent Document 2, since the ultrasonic
receiving area and the light irradiation area are provided at different places, the capillary located
at the shallowest part of the subcutaneous part of the living body is When observing, etc., further
improvement in sensitivity is desired.
[0010]
Therefore, the present invention provides a novel ultrasonic probe suitable for imaging the
internal structure of an object to be inspected using a photoacoustic effect, and an inspection
apparatus using the ultrasonic probe. To aim.
[0011]
In the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, a light emitting unit that emits light to
generate an ultrasonic wave from a light absorber, and an ultrasonic wave generated by light
from the light emitting unit are converted into an electric signal. And a light guide plate for
introducing light from a light source to the light irradiation unit, and the light irradiation area of
the light irradiation unit is in the ultrasonic wave receiving area of the ultrasonic conversion unit.
It is characterized by being included.
[0012]
According to the present invention, there is provided a novel ultrasonic probe suitable for
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imaging the internal structure of an object to be inspected using a photoacoustic effect, and an
inspection apparatus using the ultrasonic probe. Can.
[0013]
The basic concept of the ultrasound probe according to the invention will be described by means
of FIG.
10 (a) shows a cross-sectional view, and FIG. 10 (b) shows a plan view seen from the incident
side of the ultrasonic wave.
[0014]
Reference numeral 1300 denotes an ultrasonic probe, and 1301 denotes an individual ultrasonic
transducer.
The ultrasound converter 1301 shares the ultrasound receiving surface 1302.
[0015]
Each ultrasonic transducer has an ultrasonic wave receiving area having a reception sensitivity as
shown at 1303 in the ultrasonic wave receiving surface.
1304 shows each light irradiation part.
The light irradiation unit 1304 is disposed in front of the ultrasonic wave receiving surface 1302
and has a light irradiation area which is an area for irradiating the inspection object 1306 with
light.
[0016]
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Note that as long as the ultrasonic wave receiving area 1303 includes the light irradiation unit
1304, it may be spread over the entire ultrasonic wave receiving surface. That is, the light
irradiation area may be included in the ultrasonic wave receiving area. However, as shown in FIG.
10, it is preferable from the viewpoint of light utilization efficiency to provide the ultrasonic wave
receiving area and the light irradiation area so as to face each other. Furthermore, it is more
preferable that the center of the ultrasound receiving area and the center of the light irradiation
area coincide with each other.
[0017]
When the light absorber 1307 is present in the inspection object, the light 1305 emitted toward
the inspection object 1306 from the light irradiator 1304 is absorbed and generates heat, from
which the photoacoustic wave 1308 is strongly emitted and ultrasonic waves are emitted. It is
received by the converter.
[0018]
Since light is emitted from the area immediately before the ultrasonic wave receiving area,
detection can be performed with high sensitivity even when the light absorber 1307 is present in
the vicinity of the very surface of the inspection object 1306.
In addition, since the light irradiation part is in front of the ultrasonic receiving surface, it is not
necessary to make a hole in the substrate of the ultrasonic probe 1300, and it is fabricated on a
silicon substrate such as CMUT (capacitance detection type ultrasonic probe). Also in the case of
the ultrasonic probe which is made, manufacture becomes easy.
[0019]
First Embodiment The invention according to the first embodiment will be described with
reference to FIG.
[0020]
In FIG. 1, 100 is an ultrasonic probe, 110 is a light source, 120 is a diffusion plate for diffusing
light, and 130 is light to be irradiated.
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[0021]
That is, as shown in FIG. 1, the ultrasonic conversion unit irradiates light in the direction opposite
to the direction in which the ultrasonic wave is received using the diffusion plate 120 for
diffusing light on the ultrasonic wave receiving surface side. Do.
[0022]
The present invention attenuates the light from the light source and the ultrasound emitted from
the body by the living body by shortening the physical distance between the testing target
substance such as a living body and the light source and the testing target substance and the
ultrasonic probe as much as possible. Try to reduce the
[0023]
A so-called edge light type backlight for liquid crystal may be mentioned as one of the modes for
embodying FIG.
[0024]
The edge light type backlight is a back lighting method used for a small-sized liquid crystal
display such as a mobile phone or a notebook PC, and is a surface light emitter including a light
source, a light guide plate and a diffusion plate.
[0025]
In FIG. 2, 210 is a circuit board including a switch circuit for selecting an ultrasonic transducer to
be driven, 220 is an ultrasonic probe, and 230 is a plurality of ultrasonic transducers included in
the probe. .
240 is a light source and 250 is a light guide plate.
With such a configuration, it is possible to irradiate light to the measurement target located in
the region directly below the ultrasonic probe.
[0026]
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One or more light sources 240 are disposed on the side surface of the light guide plate.
[0027]
Then, light is transmitted while repeating total reflection in the light guide plate 250, and light is
extracted outside the light guide plate 250 by providing a shape or a scatterer in the surface of
the light guide plate 250 that breaks the total reflection condition. Then, it has a mechanism to
emit light in a plane.
[0028]
Although control of these shapes and scatterers can be designed to minimize the in-plane
luminance distribution, it may not always be easy to sufficiently suppress the variation of the
light emission amount in the plane with the light guide plate 250 alone .
[0029]
For this reason, it is preferable to average the in-plane distribution of the emitted light quantity
using a diffusion plate or the like to obtain a surface light emitter of uniform light quantity.
[0030]
The role of the diffusion plate in the liquid crystal display is mainly to obtain an image with
uniform brightness in such a display surface and to suppress a significant change in brightness
when observed from various angles.
[0031]
On the other hand, in the ultrasonic probe according to the present embodiment, the main object
is to irradiate a larger amount of light while reducing the surface density of light.
That is, the density of light per unit area that can be made incident on a living body is determined
by the industrial standard, and light irradiation beyond this can not be performed.
[0032]
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Therefore, in order to maximize the photoacoustic effect, it is required to irradiate a larger
amount of light.
Therefore, since it is preferable that the in-plane distribution of the light density be as small as
possible, the diffusion plate is also used for the ultrasonic probe according to the present
embodiment.
[0033]
At this time, in order to efficiently irradiate the substance to be examined, such as a tumor in a
living body, it is preferable that the light from the light source reaches the substance to be
examined at the shortest distance.
That is, it is preferable to design so that the light quantity to the normal direction of a surface
light source may increase.
[0034]
The light source that can be applied to the present invention is preferably a light source of a
wavelength at which the absorption of the substance to be measured appears significantly, and a
wavelength range that easily transmits other biological substances is preferred. Ru.
At this time, it is preferable to use a near-infrared light laser from the viewpoint of
monochromaticity.
[0035]
With regard to a light guide plate, in recent years, a thin light guide plate has been developed
with the aim of making the LCD flexible, and this can be suitably used.
For example, the techniques described in US Pat. No. 6,773,126 can be used.
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Such a light guide plate may form the light guide plate directly on the ultrasonic probe using an
imprint method or the like.
[0036]
Similar to the high efficiency of the backlight for LCD, it is necessary in the present invention to
make much light incident on the living body.
Therefore, in order to enhance the light emitted from the light guide plate, for example, the
technology described in US Pat. No. 6,967,698 can be employed.
[0037]
Even in the case of using a light guide plate, it is preferable to provide a light reflection layer on
the light guide plate in order to irradiate more light to the living body.
[0038]
This light reflecting layer may be a normal metal reflecting plate, but in the case of the present
invention, not only visible light but also light of various wavelengths such as near infrared light is
used for the living body, so the required wavelength band It is preferable to use a metal having
high reflectance in
[0039]
At this time, it is preferable that the reflectance be 90% or more also for high efficiency.
[0040]
When the reflectance of the light reflection layer or the luminous efficiency of the light emitter is
low, heat is generated in the light emitting portion, which causes a measurement error.
Therefore, it is preferable to enhance the heat radiation effect of the ultrasonic probe used.
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[0041]
Here, the thickness of the light guide plate can be configured to be 0.25 × λ, where λ is the
wavelength of the ultrasonic wave detected by the ultrasonic wave detection unit.
The acoustic impedance of the member constituting the light guide plate may be at least a value
between the acoustic impedance of the ultrasonic transducer and the acoustic impedance of the
inspection object.
The acoustic impedance of the light guide plate may be a value of a geometric mean of the
acoustic impedance of the ultrasonic transducer and the acoustic impedance of the inspection
object.
[0042]
The ultrasonic transducer can be formed using a piezoelectric body such as PZT or a
semiconductor.
In addition, the ultrasonic conversion unit may be configured to be separated into a plurality of
elements or to arrange ultrasonic vibration element groups in an array.
In the present invention, the ultrasonic wave receiving means is not particularly limited, and a
magnetostriction phenomenon, an electrostrictive effect, electrostatic attraction and capacitance
change, detection by light, and the like can also be used.
[0043]
The ultrasonic probe may transmit and receive ultrasonic waves and process reflected ultrasonic
waves to construct an image. An image configured by processing the reflected ultrasound and an
image obtained by the photoacoustic effect can be displayed in an overlapping manner.
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Moreover, the image comprised by processing the said reflected ultrasound and the image
obtained by the photoacoustic effect can also be displayed side by side.
[0044]
In addition, the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention may be provided with a light
receiving element. This light receiving element may be used as a light receiving part of diffuse
optical tomography (DOT) for visualizing the inside of an observation object by measuring and
calibrating the light quantity and distribution of incident light and transmitting the light to the
observation object it can.
[0045]
Second Embodiment The invention according to the second embodiment will be described with
reference to FIG. FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of the invention according to the present
embodiment.
[0046]
310 is an ultrasonic transducer such as a piezoelectric element or CMUT, 320 is an input light
input from a light source, 330 is a scatterer, 340 is an inspection object, 350 is an end face of a
light guide plate, 360 is a laser beam, 370 is a light guide plate , 380 is a substrate of the
ultrasonic probe.
[0047]
The ultrasonic transducers 310 are arranged in a two-dimensional array on the substrate 380 of
the ultrasonic probe.
As an example, the substrate 380 is a 3 cm square, and each of the ultrasonic transducers 310
has a size of 0.5 mm square, and these are arranged at a pitch of 2 mm in length and width.
When the ultrasound conversion unit 310 is a CMUT, the frequency band changes depending on
the size of the CMUT. Therefore, a plurality of small ultrasound conversion units each having a
desired bandwidth are arranged as necessary to drive the electrodes in common.
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[0048]
A light guide plate 370 is disposed on the surface of the substrate 380 on the ultrasonic
conversion unit 310 side. Laser light 320 is emitted from the end of the light guide plate 370,
and this light propagates through the light guide plate 370.
[0049]
After propagating through the light guide plate 370, the laser light 320 is scattered by the light
scatterer 330 provided on the end surface 350 and is guided into the inspection object 340.
Here, it is preferable that the light scatterers 330 be disposed in three planes excluding the laser
incident plane in the plane of the light guide plate 370 perpendicular to the incident axis of the
laser beam 360. Thus, light can be efficiently guided into the inspection object 340. The light
guide plate 370 is a hollow casing made of vinyl, glass or the like, and it is preferable to fill the
inside with a liquid such as water.
[0050]
In particular, it is preferable to use a Mylar film or the like which transmits ultrasonic waves well
at the portions in contact with the inspection object 340 and the ultrasonic conversion unit 310.
Accordingly, it is possible to efficiently guide the ultrasonic waves generated from the inside of
the inspection object 340 to the ultrasonic conversion unit 310 than the light guide plate made
of a solid. Moreover, as long as the light-scattering body 330 is the unevenness | corrugation of
the shape larger than the wavelength to be used, you may use what kind of shape.
[0051]
Third Embodiment The invention according to the third embodiment will be described with
reference to FIG. Here, FIG. 4 (a) is a cross-sectional view of the invention according to the
present embodiment, and FIG. 4 (b) is a plan view.
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[0052]
Reference numeral 400 denotes a substrate of an ultrasonic probe, on which ultrasonic
transducers 401 such as piezoelectric elements and CMUTs are arranged in a two-dimensional
array.
[0053]
A light guide plate 402 is disposed on the surface of the substrate 400 on the ultrasonic
conversion unit 401 side.
The end 403 of the optical fiber is fixed to the end of the light guide plate 402. The light guide
plate 402 contacts the inspection object 404 via the acoustic coupling material 405.
[0054]
The light 406 propagating through the optical fiber 403 is introduced from the end of the light
guide plate 402 into the light guide plate 402. The light entering the light guide plate 402
propagates inside as shown at 407 and is further emitted from the light emitting part 408
toward the inspection object 404 as shown by reference numeral 409. Here, when the light
absorber 410 is present inside the inspection object 404, the temperature of the light absorber
410 is selectively raised, and the photoacoustic wave 411 is emitted. The photoacoustic wave
411 is received by the ultrasonic conversion unit 401 via the acoustic coupling material 405.
[0055]
Here, in order to promote the introduction of light from the optical fiber 403 to the light guide
plate 402, it is preferable to provide a concavo-convex structure on the side surface portion 412
of the optical fiber 406 or disperse fine particles having a light diffusing function in the fiber.
[0056]
In addition, it is desirable that the light be introduced uniformly over the entire end of the light
guide plate 402 as much as possible.
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If the introduction of light is not uniform, unevenness occurs in the irradiation intensity of light
in the longitudinal direction of the substrate. Therefore, it is preferable to adjust the size of the
concavo-convex structure of the optical fiber side surface portion 412 and the degree of
dispersion of the fine particles to increase the degree of the degree of dispersion from the
introduction side of the light 406 toward the back. It is preferable that the light radiation 409
from the light guide plate 402 be uniformly performed over the entire substrate.
[0057]
In particular, when viewing the light absorber 410 located at a shallow position from the surface
of the inspection object 404, it is efficient to selectively introduce light from the light irradiation
unit 408 provided immediately above the ultrasonic conversion unit 401. For that purpose, the
refractive index of the light guide plate 402 is configured to be larger than the refractive index of
the acoustic coupling material 405, and the light 407 can be confined inside the light guide plate
402 by total reflection.
[0058]
In addition, the light irradiator 408 can be configured to selectively provide a concavo-convex
structure on the surface of the light guide plate 402 or to disperse light by dispersing fine
particles having a light diffusion function in the light guide plate 402. . Note that it is preferable
to enhance the diffusion function from the introduction side of the light 407 toward the back.
[0059]
On the other hand, the light guide plate 402 has to efficiently propagate the photoacoustic wave
411 from the light absorber 410 in the thickness direction. For this purpose, it is preferable to
have an acoustic impedance that is about halfway between the inspection object 404 and the
material of the ultrasonic transducer 401. And in order not to disturb the vibration of the
ultrasonic transducer, it is preferable to have a large (near 0.5) Poisson's ratio. As a material
satisfying the above requirements, silicone rubber which has been conventionally used for an
acoustic lens of a one-dimensional ultrasonic probe is preferable.
04-05-2019
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[0060]
Further, since the refractive index of silicone rubber to visible light and near infrared light is
about 1.4 to 1.5, water (refractive index 1.33) or ethanol (refractive index 1.33) is used as the
acoustic bonding material 405 from the viewpoint of light confinement. A refractive index of
1.37 or the like can be used.
[0061]
Moreover, when providing an uneven | corrugated structure in the surface of silicone rubber, the
magnitude | size of an uneven | corrugated structure needs to be more than the wavelength (0.51.5 micrometers) of light from a viewpoint of light diffusion.
Since the ultrasonic waves are scattered when the wavelength of the ultrasonic waves (1.5 to
0.15 mm at a frequency of 1 to 10 MHz) is reached, it is necessary to select a value between the
two.
[0062]
As fine particles to be dispersed, for example, SiO 2 of about 2 μm can be used.
[0063]
Further, when the light reflection surface 413 is provided between the light guide plate 402 and
the substrate 400 or the ultrasonic wave conversion unit 401, not only the utilization efficiency
of light can be enhanced, but generation of unnecessary photoacoustic wave (noise) on the
substrate surface etc. It also has the effect of preventing
In addition, when the light guide plate 402 has an end that does not introduce light, the light can
be efficiently used by providing the light reflection layer 414.
[0064]
Fourth Embodiment The invention according to the fourth embodiment will be described with
04-05-2019
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reference to FIG. Descriptions of parts in common with the third embodiment will be omitted.
[0065]
In the present embodiment, the light irradiation unit 408 is configured by making the surface of
the light guide plate 402 a curved surface. Optically, the introduction of the curved surface does
not satisfy the total reflection condition due to the refractive index difference between the light
guide plate 402 and the acoustic coupling material 405, and light is emitted to the inspection
object 404 from here.
[0066]
Also, if the curved surface is convex upward as shown in FIG. 5, the acoustic velocity of the
silicone rubber is 900 to 1000 m / sec and the acoustic velocity of water is 1480 m / sec. .
Therefore, even when the ultrasonic conversion unit 401 is considerably smaller than the
arrangement interval, the energy of the photoacoustic wave can be efficiently taken into the
ultrasonic conversion unit 401. Also, widening the intervals of the ultrasonic transducers 401
has the effect of preventing interference between individual ultrasonic transducers and
enhancing the quality of the image.
[0067]
Fifth Embodiment The invention according to the fifth embodiment will be described with
reference to FIG. Descriptions of parts in common with the third and fourth embodiments will be
omitted.
[0068]
In the present embodiment, the refractive index of the light guide plate 402 is set lower than the
refractive index of the acoustic coupling material 405. Therefore, the light confinement condition
is not satisfied, and light is emitted toward the inspection object 404.
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[0069]
However, by providing the light shielding mask layer 600 having an opening in the light
irradiation portion 408 on the surface of the light guide plate 402, light can be efficiently used.
That is, a region (opening) where the light shielding mask layer 600 is not provided is a light
irradiation portion.
[0070]
As described in FIG. 4, by setting the opening on the introduction side of the light 407 smaller
and setting the rear opening larger, light of uniform intensity can be emitted.
[0071]
In the present embodiment, generally, a high viscosity acoustic bonding material 405 can be
used.
For example, even if glycerin (refractive index 1.47) is used, it can be set so that light
confinement does not occur if an appropriate silicone rubber having a lower refractive index is
selected. The high-viscosity acoustic bonding material 405 is easy to use because it hardly leaks
to the outside even when inserted between the inspection object 404 and the light guide plate
402.
[0072]
Sixth Embodiment The invention according to the sixth embodiment will be described with
reference to FIG.
[0073]
In this embodiment, an application of the present invention to the case of breast diagnosis
(mammography) will be described.
[0074]
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FIG. 7 shows a case where a light source (here, an optical fiber) 1001 is prepared as a radiation
source of electromagnetic waves and the breast 1000 is irradiated.
Here, the breast is sandwiched by a plate 1003 transparent to light 1002 and a plate 1005
which is transparent and transmits ultrasonic waves 1004 well.
[0075]
Here, 1007 is the ultrasonic probe described in the above embodiment.
Thus, as shown by the reference numerals 1002 and 1008 to the breast 1000, light can be
irradiated to the breast 1000 from both sides, thus strongly absorbing light such as new blood
vessels 1006 associated with cancer. To obtain an image with strong contrast. In addition, by
using the ultrasonic probe described in the above embodiment as the ultrasonic probe 1007, it is
possible to effectively illuminate a portion that has conventionally been a shadow with the light
1008.
[0076]
Seventh Embodiment The invention according to the seventh embodiment will be described with
reference to FIG.
[0077]
Also in the present embodiment, an application example to a case of breast diagnosis will be
described.
In the present embodiment, two ultrasonic probes 1007 of the sixth embodiment are provided.
That is, a first ultrasonic probe and a second ultrasonic probe are provided.
[0078]
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Here, the two ultrasonic probes 1007 may be configured to have independent light sources and
simultaneously generate light pulses by the action of a common light control unit. Also, the light
pulse from the common light source may be divided, propagated to each ultrasonic probe by the
waveguide, and emitted from each light irradiation unit.
[0079]
As in the present embodiment, when the reception signals incident from different directions are
synthesized and processed by a plurality of ultrasonic probes, image data with few defects
(artifacts) can be obtained.
[0080]
The ultrasonic probes may be arranged to face each other, but as shown in FIG.
In particular, when the new blood vessel 1006 is present at a position close to the tip of the
breast, if the new blood vessel can be irradiated with sufficient illuminance by the ultrasonic
probe 1007 at the upper part, the generated photoacoustic wave has a wide lower contact
surface It is also effective to receive by the ultrasonic probe 1007 of
[0081]
Eighth Embodiment Inspection Apparatus The inspection apparatus can be configured using the
ultrasonic probe described in the above embodiment. Here, the inspection apparatus corresponds
to an ultrasonic image forming apparatus using the above-described PAT technology. Therefore,
the inspection apparatus according to the present embodiment includes a display unit that
displays internal information of the inspection object as image data using a reception signal from
the ultrasonic probe.
[0082]
The internal information is, for example, a tomographic image, a three-dimensional shape, or an
image of parameters related to the composition to be inspected.
[0083]
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An example at the time of constituting an inspection device concretely is shown.
For example, the ultrasonic probe (probe 900) described in FIG. 2 is described in FIG.
[0084]
Reference numeral 920 denotes a light control unit for controlling the wavelength, drive timing,
and output of the light source, and reference numeral 930 denotes an ultrasonic transmission
unit for scanning and observing the inside of the inspection object with ultrasonic waves. In the
case of the PAT technique, it is not always necessary to transmit ultrasound. Reference numeral
910 denotes a receiving unit for transmitting a signal output from an ultrasonic transducer
group, which is an ultrasonic conversion unit, by wire or wireless, and receiving the signal.
[0085]
Reference numeral 960 denotes a signal processing unit, which includes a photoacoustic signal
processing unit 961 and an ultrasonic signal processing unit 962.
[0086]
The photoacoustic signal processing unit 961 calculates the direction and the intensity of the
photoacoustic signal generated in the inspection object by performing arithmetic processing on
the ultrasonic wave signal obtained from the transducer group.
[0087]
When transmitting the ultrasonic wave, the ultrasonic signal processing unit 962 performs
arithmetic processing on the reflection intensity of the ultrasonic wave according to the
transmission direction.
In addition, when transmission of an ultrasonic wave is not performed, this ultrasonic processing
part 962 can also be abbreviate | omitted.
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[0088]
An image data processing unit 950 executes image reconstruction, coordinate conversion, edge
enhancement, contrast adjustment, superposition of an image by a photoacoustic signal and an
image by an ultrasonic wave, and the like.
Then, the data processed by the image data processing unit 950 is displayed by the monitor 970.
[0089]
It is a figure for demonstrating the invention which concerns on 1st Embodiment. It is a figure
for demonstrating the invention which concerns on 1st Embodiment. It is a figure for
demonstrating the invention which concerns on 2nd Embodiment. It is a figure for demonstrating
the invention which concerns on 3rd Embodiment. It is a figure for demonstrating the invention
which concerns on 4th Embodiment. It is a figure for demonstrating the invention which
concerns on 5th Embodiment. It is a figure for demonstrating the invention which concerns on
6th Embodiment. It is a figure for demonstrating the invention which concerns on 7th
Embodiment. It is a figure for demonstrating the invention which concerns on 8th Embodiment.
FIG. 1 shows the basic concept of an ultrasound probe according to the invention. It is a figure
for demonstrating a prior art.
Explanation of sign
[0090]
100 ultrasonic probe 110 light source 120 light guide plate 130 light
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