Ultrasound imaging

We develop new ultrasound-based methods for neuromuscular and cardiovascular applications, and support clinical research projects linked to ultrasound imaging with our strong expertise. The foundation in this research is our programmable ultrasound systems.

Research infrastructure - Programmable ultrasound 
The department has two programmable ultrasound systems that enable customized imaging and implementation of special sequences: 

  • Vantage 256, 2D and 3D probes, Verasonics (https://verasonics.com/) 
  • SonixTouch, 2D probes, DAQ module, Ultrasonix Medical Corporation 

 Vascular ultrasound 
An example of a collaboration project in the department is the VIPVIZA study based on VHU. Our support includes competence in image and signal analysis linked to measuring intimate media thickness and plaque occurrence in vessels. Within VIPVIZA, we also have sub-projects where we study structural and mechanical aspects of vascular plaque in the carotid arteries. 

Image 1: A vascular plaque in CCA (a carotid artery) depicted with so-called B-mode and CC-mode technology. They reveal certain properties of the plaque with respect to composition and mechanics. 

Skeletal muscle ultrasound 
The department is also developing techniques for studying physiological systems in entirely new ways. An example is a project where we are developing an ultrasound-based technology to measure the mechanical response from so-called motor units in skeletal musclesThe properties of the motor units are central to the studies of diagnosing muscle diseases. Today, invasive methods (such as needle electromyography) are used. The methods are based on so-called plane wave technology in the ultrasound system. This means that we can generate thousands of images per second, which is required for capturing the weak and transient mechanical response from the muscles. 

Image 2: Illustrates a new technique for studying motor units in skeletal muscles with ultrasound (Rohlén et al., 2020). 

Christer Grönlund – Christer.Gronlund@regionvasterbotten.se  

Active Researchers:  
Robin Rohlén, Marko Nygård, Emma Nyman, Urban Edström, Marcus Karlsson, Hazrat Ali 

VR, Kempestiftelsen, UMU, Norrländska hjärtfonden, Region Västerbotten