The Nightingale lab seeks to investigate and improve ultrasonic imaging methods for clinically-relevant problems. We do this through theoretical, experimental, and simulation methods. The main focus of our work is the development of novel, acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI)-based elasticity imaging methods to generate images of the mechanical properties of tissue, involving interdisciplinary research in ultrasonics and tissue biomechanics. We have access to the engineering interfaces of several commercial ultrasound systems which allows us to design, rapidly prototype, and experimentally demonstrate custom sequences to explore novel beamforming and imaging concepts.
With FEM-based tools we are able to simulate the behavior of tissues during mechanical excitation, and we integrate these tools with ultrasonic imaging modeling tools to simulate the ARFI imaging process. Maintaining strong collaborations with the Duke University Medical Center, the lab hopes to to translate our new technologies to clinical practice. We work closely with the ultrasound manufacturing industry, in which many of our graduate students gain internship experience as well.
The ARFI imaging technologies we have developed serve as a basis for commercial imaging technique in clinics worldwide. The Nightingale lab, as well as the Duke Ultrasound group, seeks to investigate the benefits and challenges associated with ultrasonic imaging using elevated acoustic output, motivating the development of output limits based upon patient safety rather than historical precedence.