Ultrasound imaging: ultrasound is a powerful, cost-effective imaging option for cardiovascular diagnosis, as well as for treatment planning and guidance. Ultrasound overcomes the limitations of alternative imaging technologies providing a solution that does not use ionizing radiations (unlike CT, nuclear scintigraphy, and X-ray) and does not pose structural and logistic limitations due to strict electromagnetic-compatibility requirements (unlike MRI). Therefore, ultrasound is perfectly suitable for perioperative imaging and for long-term monitoring. Several projects are ongoing in this research area with the aim of introducing new technical advances for improved diagnosis and treatment. All our research builds on deep understanding and modeling of the full measurement chain, from the underlying (patho)physiology, to the electromechanical conversion and ultrasound physics, up to the image formation strategy. Special emphasis is given on those innovations that can ultimately be translated into new solutions enabling long-term monitoring. Main research areas of are:
- Mechanical and photoacoustic characterization of tissue properties aimed at the characterization of the vascular wall and atherosclerotic plaques.
- Multi-parametric characterization of mechanical and perfusion properties of the cardiac walls aimed at optimizing the ablation procedures for treatment of cardiac arrhythmias.
- Continuous hemodynamic monitoring by adaptive ultrasound beam forming.
- Analysis of ventricular flow and pressure patterns by contrast-enhanced ultrasound imaging.
- Multi-perspective analysis of cardiac and vascular (e.g. aorta) structures for improved diagnostic evaluation.