Single-chip reduced-wire active catheter system with programmable transmit beamforming and receive time-division multiplexing for intracardiac echocardiography

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Jung, Gwangrok
Degertekin, F. Levent
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A single chip reduced-wire active catheter system, which adopts programmable transmit beamforming and receive time-division multiplexing (TDM) was proposed. The front-end application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) is designed for driving a 64-channel 1-D piezo-transducer array or capacitive micromachined ultrasound transducer (CMUT) array in intracardiac echocardiography (ICE) catheters. ICE has become more important clinical modality in interventional ultrasound imaging. It provides real-time ultrasound imaging, guiding interventions like valve repair, placement of stents, closure of atrial septal defects (ASD) and catheter-based ablation to treat atrial fibrillation. Current ICE catheters offer a limited 2-D or 3-D field of view in spite of large number electrical interconnections to the main imaging system, which are mainly determined by the number of array elements and ground connections. In order to use ICE catheters under MRI instead of the ionizing X-ray radiation-based angiography, the number of interconnect wires in the catheter should be minimized to reduce RF-induced heating from metal connection. Furthermore, reducing the number of wires would improve the flexibility, reach, and even lower the cost of the single-use ICE catheters. Therefore, an interconnection reduction method which integrates electronics in the catheter tip would have a significant impact in the catheter-based ultrasound imaging applications.
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