Our researchers have been actively involved in the expansion of ultrasound imaging capacities beyond the fundamental limits of ultrasound waves in terms of spatio-temporal resolution and sensitivity, using innovative concepts of wave physics which have translated to a wide range of new methods for medical screening, diagnosis and therapy.

Ultrafast ultrasound imaging has been introduced in 1996, using innovative methods to image the human body at more than 10000 frames per second whereas standard ultrasound scanners operate at 50 frames per second. Ultrafast imaging rates enable to capture dynamic physiological phenomena (tissue vibrations, muscular contraction, blood flows) which are otherwise unobservable, improving the diagnosis in many medical applications. Different imaging modes relying on ultrafast ultrasound can even be combined into a single technology, providing a multiparametric imaging tool for a comprehensive diagnosis.

Main publications

[1] Provost J, Papadacci C, Arango JE, Imbault M, Fink M, Gennisson J-L, Tanter M, Pernot M. 3D ultrafast ultrasound imaging in vivo. Phys Med Biol (2014) 59:L1–L13.doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/59/19/L1

[2] Tanter M, Fink M. Ultrafast imaging in biomedical ultrasound. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control (2014) 61:102–119. doi.org/10.1109/TUFFC.2014.2882

[3] Montaldo G, Tanter M, Bercoff J, Benech N, Fink M. Coherent plane-wave compounding for very high frame rate ultrasonography and transient elastography. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control (2009) 56:489–506. doi.org/10.1109/TUFFC.2009.1067

[4] Tiran E, Deffieux T, Correia M, Maresca D, Osmanski B-F, Sieu L-A, Bergel A, Cohen I, Pernot M, Tanter M. Multiplane wave imaging increases signal-to-noise ratio in ultrafast ultrasound imaging. Phys Med Biol (2015) 60:8549–8566. doi.org/10.1088/0031-9155/60/21/8549

Ultrasound Doppler is the application of ultrasound to blood flow imaging. So far, conventional Doppler techniques could only perform either a qualitative mapping of the vessels or a local (i.e. in a single pixel) quantitative measurement of the blood velocity. Conversely, ultrafast ultrasound enables the synchronous recording of a large amount of data, which ultimately provides a 20-times higher sensitivity compared to conventional Doppler. Besides, ultrafast Doppler can simultaneously map and quantify the blood velocities in every pixel of the imaging area.

Main publications

[1] Bercoff J, Montaldo G, Loupas T, Savery D, Mézière F, Fink M, Tanter M. Ultrafast compound doppler imaging: Providing full blood flow characterization. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control (2011) 58:134–147. doi.org/10.1109/TUFFC.2011.1780

[2] Demené C, Pernot M, Biran V, Alison M, Fink M, Baud O, Tanter M. Ultrafast Doppler reveals the mapping of cerebral vascular resistivity in neonates. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab (2014) 34:1009–1017. doi.org/10.1038/jcbfm.2014.49

[3] Demené C, Deffieux T, Pernot M, Osmanski B-F, Biran V, Gennisson J-L, Sieu L-A, Bergel A, Franqui S, Correas J-M, et al. Spatiotemporal Clutter Filtering of Ultrafast Ultrasound Data Highly Increases Doppler and fUltrasound Sensitivity. IEEE Trans Med Imaging (2015) 34:2271–2285. doi.org/10.1109/TMI.2015.2428634

[3] Demené C, Tiran E, Sieu L-A, Bergel A, Gennisson JL, Pernot M, Deffieux T, Cohen I, Tanter M. 4D microvascular imaging based on ultrafast Doppler tomography. Neuroimage (2016) 127:472–483. doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2015.11.014

[4] Provost J, Papadacci C, Demene C, Gennisson J-L, Tanter M, Pernot M. 3-D ultrafast doppler imaging applied to the noninvasive mapping of blood vessels in Vivo. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control (2015) 62:1467–1472. doi.org/10.1109/TUFFC.2015.007032

The vascular network can be mapped at depth in organs with a micron scale resolution, using ultrafast ultrasound imaging to track the trajectory of microbubbles injected in the blood stream. Microbubbles are routinely used in clinics as ultrasound contrast agents (i.e. in order to enhance the contrast of ultrasound images), with thousands of bubbles injected during an examination. With ultrafast imaging rates, microbubbles can be distinguished individually and the exact location and travel speed of each bubble recovered. The method, coined ultrasound super-localization microscopy, closely parallels the optical super-localization microscopy approach (invented by Betzig, Moerner and Hell, recipients of the 2014 Nobel Prize of Chemistry). Ultrasound super-localization microscopy combines the centimetric imaging depth of ultrasound waves with a micron scale resolution.

Main publications

[1] Couture O, Hingot V, Heiles B, Muleki-Seya P, Tanter M. Ultrasound localization microscopy and super-resolution: A state of the art. IEEE Trans Ultrason Ferroelectr Freq Control (2018) 65:1304–1320. doi.org/10.1109/TUFFC.2018.2850811

[2] Errico C, Pierre J, Pezet S, Desailly Y, Lenkei Z, Couture O, Tanter M. Ultrafast ultrasound localization microscopy for deep super-resolution vascular imaging. Nature (2015) 527:499–502. doi.org/10.1038/nature16066