Miniaturized High-Resolution Integrated 360° Electronic Radial Ultrasound Endoscope for Digestive Tract Imaging
To improve the accuracy and operating flexibility of digestive diagnostic applications in situ, this paper demonstrates the design, fabrication, and evaluation of a miniaturized high-resolution integrated 360° electronic radial ultrasound endoscope. To improve the uniformity between elements of the radial array transducer, an optimal fabrication procedure based on a flexible matching layer was developed. The radial ultrasound endoscope has a 128.3° 5-million-pixel camera module integrated with an approximately 8-MHz 128-element radial ultrasonic array in a package with an outer diameter of 9.5 mm. The results showed that the array has a center frequency of 8.2 MHz, a -6-dB fractional bandwidth of 83.4%, and a two-way insertion loss of 39.62 dB at the center frequency. Annulus and wire phantoms can be distinctly imaged with the radial array. Printed eight-point font can be distinctly imaged with both a large view and a 3-18-mm depth of field in lumen short-range optical imaging. A porcine esophagus can be distinctly imaged in vitro with the integrated endoscope. The results indicate that the fabrication method based on a flexible matching layer can achieve high uniformity between elements of a radial array transducer. In addition, the proposed ultrasound endoscope demonstrates a good image resolution.