Like hardly any other technology, ultrasound allows non-invasive and real-time imaging with resolutions down to the sub-millimetre range. Combined with other attributes such as non-invasiveness, freedom from ionising radiation and relatively low procurement and operating costs, this scalability makes ultrasound the most-used diagnostic imaging method worldwide. In addition to this, ultrasound is becoming increasingly important as a therapeutic method. The possibility of destroying tissue in a non-invasive manner using thermal effects resulting from the application of high-intensity focussed ultrasound waves (HIFU) makes ultrasound an interesting alternative to surgical interventions, for example in the field of tumour treatment.
Thanks to the development of its own flexible multichannel beamformer DiPhAS (Digital Phased Array System), the main department of Ultrasound at the Fraunhofer IBMT has a universally applicable platform to address a wide range of diagnostic and therapeutic questions. With scalable and modular system concepts, it is possible to process a frequency range of up to 100 MHz. Alongside such highly specialized electronic systems, the expertise of the main department of Ultrasound also includes the development of algorithms and software for state-of-the-art ultrasound methods such as "Ultrafast Imaging" or shear-wave elastography. The combination of ultrasound with other techniques such as magnetic resonance imaging or optoacoustics is another research focus of the main department of Ultrasound. The range of services further includes the development of ultrasound transducers and their manufacture in accordance with ISO 13485. The main department of Ultrasound thus is a competent partner for a wide range of medical applications from feasibility studies to the experimental validation of new approaches, right up to clinical studies or the transfer into a pilot batch production. In addition to this, the combination of expertises at the Fraunhofer IBMT in the fields of cell biology and ultrasound technology offers excellent conditions for addressing biotechnological and preclinical research topics beyond the medical context.