Medical Sciences Building

The Ultrasound Research Laboratory consists of five research areas of more than 1,400 square feet. There is also a computer drop-in center, library and an office supply room totaling an additional 700 square feet. The ultrasound group has seven personnel offices totaling 1,000 square feet located on the same floor as the Ultrasound Research Laboratory. All offices are equipped with the necessities, including personal computers and high-speed Internet connection. Complete microprocessor design and programming capabilities are available.

The most important assets of our laboratory are the people. On staff we have a full-time system analyst programmer, an engineer who designs analog and digital high-frequency circuitry, one consultant, one senior associate consultant, two associate consultants, two research associates, two postdoctoral fellows and three graduate students.

The Ultrasound Research Laboratory has the following equipment:

Anechoic chamber

This anechoic chamber measuring 12 feet by 10 feet by 7 feet with 15 hertz cutoff frequency is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation. In this room, researchers conduct low-level sound and vibration experiments, as well as vibro-acoustography on patients.

Scanning laser vibrometer

This system (Polytec VibraScan PSV-300-F) is for dynamic measurement of vibration of an object and produces an image representing velocity distribution. Displacement on the order of 1 angstrom can be measured. It was purchased under a National Science Foundation instrumentation grant.

Acoustic-optic measurement system

Originally purchased as an optic system, this equipment has been completely rebuilt to obtain quantitative measurements of ultrasound fields. The system can be used to obtain data for tomography of ultrasound fields and currently images about 3 to 5 centimeters of acoustic field.

Clinical ultrasound scanners

The GE Vingmed Vivid 7 and Acuson 128 XP scanners are for use in research. Also available is an Acuson Sequoia, an ATL HDI an HP 2500 and a General Electric ColorView 860.

Research scanner

The laboratory has several water tank ultrasound scanners, which are capable of scanning with multiple combinations of transmitter and receiver transducers in a multitude of scan geometries, including parallel and fan beam geometries as well as raster transmission or reflection C-scans. The scanners are configured with the capability of scanning either excised tissues and phantoms or live animals, including humans.

Modular instrumentation

Many types of signal processing modules are available to the laboratory research scanner, such as a continuous wave signal, generation and analysis modules, and analysis circuits for quadrature detection, time integration and synchronous detection methods. The laboratory has eight function generators, one polynomial waveform synthesizer, two lock-in amplifiers, two digital oscilloscopes, two analog oscilloscopes and two high-speed dual channel A/D systems. A variety of ultrasound transducers and associated power amplifiers and receivers are available, in addition to various commercial phantoms and homemade phantoms.


Mayo Clinic has high-powered compute engines and clusters and an IT consulting resource available for use. The laboratory is equipped with a network of one central file server, four Sun Ray systems, 22 PCs and four laptop computers, all connected with high-speed Internet. Operating systems include Sun Solaris 8, HP-UX 11i and Microsoft Windows XP. A list of major software packages includes Abaqus 6.4-1, LMS Sysnoise 5.6, CyberLogic Wave3000, Mathematica 4.0, Matlab 7.5, LabView 8.5, Mathcad 11, Mayo Analyze 7.0 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2005. Computer data is backed up daily to external hard drives, archived every week automatically and also stored by individual investigators on DVDs or CD-ROMs.