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DESCRIPTION JP2007289555

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DESCRIPTION JP2007289555
The present invention provides a highly reliable ultrasonic probe that does not interfere with
diagnosis or operation by detecting positional deviation of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1
due to an impact or the like during handling. A back electromotive force monitoring circuit
monitors a back electromotive force of a drive motor. After the back electromotive force is
detected, the attention of the examiner can be called up by displaying the positional deviation,
and the inspection can be continued without any trouble in the operation by returning the
ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 to the normal position. [Selected figure] Figure 1
Ultrasound probe
[0001]
The present invention relates to an ultrasonic probe, for example, to an ultrasonic probe used in
an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus for obtaining an image in a subject using ultrasonic waves.
[0002]
Conventionally, as described in, for example, Patent Document 1 below, an arbitrary tomographic
pattern is generated by electronic scanning of the array direction of the ultrasonic transducers
and mechanical scanning that moves or swings in a direction orthogonal to the electronic
scanning direction. Medical ultrasonic probes capable of constructing images and stereo images
are known.
[0003]
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FIG. 5 is a view showing the configuration of the above-described conventional ultrasonic probe.
In FIG. 5, an ultrasonic transducer assembly 101 configured to include a plurality of arranged
ultrasonic transducers (not shown) is integrally attached to an arm 105, and an arm 105 has an
oscillating shaft 106. Are integrally connected at both ends of the
The rocking shaft 106 is rotatably supported by a rocking bearing 107 assembled to the base
104, and further, a first pulley 108, a belt 109, and a second structure integrally assembled to
the rocking shaft 106. It is engaged with the motor output shaft 112 of the drive motor 111 via
the pulley 110. The origin detector 116 includes a transmitter 116a fixed to the arm 105 and
swinging with the ultrasonic transducer assembly 101, and a receiver 116b for receiving a signal
from the transmitter 116a. The receiver 116b is electrically connected to the origin detector 117.
To detect the origin of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 101. The acoustic window 103 has a
bell shape and is disposed so as to cover the outer side of the ultrasonic transducer assembly
101, and a liquid acoustic transmission medium is enclosed inside the acoustic window 103.
[0004]
In the above configuration, according to the drive control command issued from storage unit 115
storing the contents of input unit 114 and input unit 114 of the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus
main body, drive motor 111 is driven via drive / control circuit 113. The ultrasonic transducer
assembly 101 can be rocked about the rocking shaft 106 by reverse rotation driving. Therefore,
the electronic scan for the plurality of ultrasonic transducers constituting the ultrasonic
transducer assembly 101, and the mechanical scan by the oscillation of the ultrasonic transducer
assembly 101 around the oscillation axis 106, can be arbitrary in the subject. It is possible to
acquire tomographic images and stereoscopic images of Furthermore, a tomographic image at a
desired position in real time is obtained by rotating the ultrasonic transducer assembly 101
about the swinging axis 106 to an arbitrary position and holding the ultrasonic transducer
assembly 101 at the rotation destination position. You can get Japanese Examined Patent
Publication 7-38851
[0005]
However, in such a conventional ultrasonic probe, when acquiring a tomographic image in a fixed
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position in real time, the position is different from the desired position due to the positional
deviation of the ultrasonic transducer assembly due to an impact or the like during handling.
There is a problem that a tomogram at a position can be obtained. For example, the ultrasonic
probe is brought into contact with a non-specimen, the position of the ultrasonic transducer
assembly is fixed, a tomographic image of a desired position is acquired, and then the ultrasonic
probe is operated to operate the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus body. Such a problem occurs
when, for example, the object is accidentally hit against a nearby object or the impact upon
placing the ultrasonic probe is strong when the object is removed from the non-specimen. At this
time, it was necessary to make sure that the examiner did not notice and continued the
examination. Also, even if the examiner notices that the image has changed, in order to return to
the image of the normal position, input again to the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus and position
the ultrasonic transducer assembly in the original position. It had to be fixed, and there was a
problem that a series of tasks would be hindered.
[0006]
The present invention has been made to solve such problems, and in the case of raising the
position while holding the ultrasonic transducer assembly in a desired position, the positional
deviation of the ultrasonic transducer assembly can be reliably made. An object of the present
invention is to provide a reliable ultrasonic probe that can be detected.
[0007]
In the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, an ultrasonic transducer assembly in
which a plurality of ultrasonic transducers for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves are
arrayed, and a direction orthogonal to the array direction of the ultrasonic transducers in the
ultrasonic transducer assembly And a home position detection means for detecting a home
position of the ultrasonic transducer assembly, and when the ultrasonic transducer assembly is
held at a desired position, the back movement of the drive motor is performed. The ultrasonic
transducer assembly is configured to detect misalignment of the ultrasonic transducer assembly
by monitoring and detecting power.
[0008]
With this configuration, when the ultrasonic transducer assembly is fixed at an arbitrary position
and a desired tomographic image is acquired in real time, positional deviation of the ultrasonic
transducer assembly occurs and the position at which the tomographic image is acquired
changes. Also, misalignment of the ultrasonic transducer assembly can be detected.
[0009]
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The ultrasonic probe according to the present invention is configured to detect displacement of
the ultrasonic transducer assembly and to notify occurrence of displacement.
[0010]
With this configuration, even if the position of the ultrasonic transducer assembly is shifted due
to an impact or the like at the time of handling and the position to obtain the tomographic image
is changed, it is surely notified to the examiner that the position to obtain the tomographic image
has changed. Can.
[0011]
In the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, the positional deviation of the
ultrasonic transducer assembly is detected, and the ultrasonic probe is configured to return to
the holding position before the positional deviation.
[0012]
With this configuration, the ultrasonic transducer assembly is automatically returned to the
original holding position even if the position of the ultrasonic transducer assembly is shifted due
to an impact or the like at the time of handling and the position for acquiring a tomographic
image changes. Since the original regular tomogram can be displayed, there is no hindrance to
the work of the examiner.
[0013]
In the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, the positional deviation of the
ultrasonic transducer assembly is detected and returned to the holding position before the
positional deviation, and the positional deviation is detected using the back electromotive force
of the drive motor. Detecting the direction.
[0014]
According to this configuration, it is possible to detect the misregistration direction at low cost
without adding a special part.
[0015]
In the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention, the positional deviation of the
ultrasonic transducer assembly is detected and returned to the holding position before the
positional deviation, and the positional deviation is detected using the back electromotive force
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of the drive motor. The amount is detected.
[0016]
According to this configuration, the amount of misalignment can be detected inexpensively
without adding a special part.
[0017]
As described above, according to the present invention, the positional displacement of the
ultrasonic transducer assembly is detected by monitoring and detecting the back electromotive
force of the drive motor when holding the ultrasonic transducer assembly in a desired position.
With this configuration, it is possible to provide a highly reliable ultrasound probe that can
reliably detect even if a displacement occurs from the holding position and the tomographic
image changes.
[0018]
Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to
the drawings.
[0019]
FIG. 1 is a view showing the configuration of an ultrasound probe according to a first
embodiment of the present invention.
The ultrasonic probe shown in FIG. 1 includes an ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 in which a
plurality of ultrasonic transducers (not shown) are arranged, and the ultrasonic transducer
assembly 1 is configured to focus ultrasonic waves. A lens that mechanically determines, a back
cushioning material that suppresses the transmission of ultrasonic waves to the back surface in
the direction of transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves, a matching layer that matches
acoustic impedance (both not shown), and an ultrasonic transducer A connecting member 2 for
transmitting and receiving electrical signals is integrally assembled with the ultrasonic
transducer.
[0020]
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The acoustic window 3 has a bell shape and is disposed so as to surround from the ultrasonic
transmitting and receiving side of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1, the inside is filled with a
liquid acoustic transmission medium (not shown), and the outside is a non-specimen Contact.
As a result, the ultrasonic waves transmitted and received by the ultrasonic transducer assembly
1 are efficiently transmitted between the object through the acoustic transmission medium and
the member of the acoustic window 3 without passing through the air layer.
[0021]
The base 4 is a support member that supports each component so that each component is at a
desired position.
Further, the base 4 cooperates with the acoustic window 3 to fill and seal the acoustic
transmission medium in a sealed state.
[0022]
The arm 5 is integrally coupled inside the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 to support the
ultrasonic transducer assembly 1.
A rocking shaft 6 serving as a rocking center of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 is integrally
formed with the arm 5 and rotatably held by a rocking bearing 7 assembled to the base 4.
Further, the rocking shaft 6 is engaged with the motor output shaft 12 of the drive motor 11
through a first pulley 8, a belt 9 and a second pulley 10 integrally assembled to the rocking shaft
6.
The drive motor 11 is electrically connected to the drive / control circuit 13 incorporated in the
ultrasonic probe or the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus main body, and the contents of the input
unit 14 and the input section 14 of the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus main body are The drive
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motor 11 is operated in accordance with a drive control command issued from the storage unit
15 stored.
[0023]
The origin detector 16 comprises a transmitter 16a fixed to the arm 5 and swinging with the
ultrasonic transducer assembly 1, and a receiver 16b receiving a signal from the transmitter 16a.
The receiver 16b is electrically connected to an origin detector circuit 17 configured in the
ultrasonic probe or the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus main body.
[0024]
The drive motor 11 is connected to a back electromotive force monitoring and detection circuit
18 configured in the ultrasonic probe or the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus main body, and
further connected to the display device 19 configured in the ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus
main body. ing.
[0025]
Next, the operation of the ultrasonic probe configured as described above will be described.
When the examiner acquires a tomographic image of a desired position of a subject in real time,
the acoustic window 3 of the ultrasound probe is brought into contact with the subject, and the
input unit 14 configured in the ultrasound diagnostic apparatus main body The examiner inputs
a drive control command from the input and causes the drive and control circuit 13 to drive the
drive motor 11 to pass through the motor output shaft 12, the second pulley 10, the belt 9, the
first pulley 8 and the swing shaft 6. The ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 is moved to a desired
position.
After the movement is completed, the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 is held, for example, by
the holding torque of the drive motor 11, and a tomographic image is acquired by electronic
scanning of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1.
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[0026]
After the acquisition of the tomogram, for example, when the desired region calculation is
performed on the acquired tomogram in place, the ultrasound probe is once separated from the
subject and does not disturb the operation. It is necessary to put an ultrasound probe on the spot.
At this time, when a strong impact is given to the ultrasonic probe such as applying an impact
when the ultrasonic probe is accidentally hit or placed around, the swinging shaft 6 of the
ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 by the impact is When the rotational torque at the center
exceeds the torque for holding the ultrasonic transducer assembly, misalignment of the
ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 occurs.
[0027]
At this time, the motor output shaft 12 is also rotated via the belt 9 or the like, and the relative
position of the coil and magnet (both not shown) formed inside the drive motor 11 changes.
As a result, the magnetic flux linked to the coil also changes, and a back electromotive force is
generated at both ends of the coil of the drive motor 11 in proportion to the time change rate of
the change of the magnetic flux.
By detecting this back electromotive force with, for example, a back electromotive force
monitoring and detection circuit 18 configured by a comparator or the like, it is possible to
detect that the positional deviation of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 has occurred.
[0028]
In response to the detection of the back electromotive force, the display device 19 connected to
the back electromotive force monitoring / detection circuit 18 may notify, for example, the
examiner that the ultrasonic assembly 1 has been displaced. it can.
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Therefore, even if the examiner brings the ultrasonic probe into contact with the subject at the
same position next time the ultrasonic probe is brought into contact with the subject, the
positional deviation of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 It can be reliably recognized that the
tomographic image to be acquired has changed due to the occurrence.
In addition, it is possible to be aware of the influence of the impact upon handling on the
ultrasound probe and to draw attention so as not to give an impact upon subsequent handling.
[0029]
Furthermore, in the embodiment of the present invention, in response to the detection of the
back electromotive force by the back electromotive force monitoring and detection circuit 18, a
drive command is issued to the drive and control circuit 13 and the origin detector 16 and the
origin detection circuit 17 are origin. The ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 can be returned to
the origin by operating until it detects. Further, the position of the ultrasonic transducer
assembly 1 input to the input unit 14 by the examiner is stored in the storage unit 15 so that
storage is performed by a drive control instruction given from the storage unit 15 to the drive
and control circuit 13 after returning to the origin. By operating the drive motor 11 to the
position stored in the unit 15, the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 can be returned to the
normal position before the impact is applied.
[0030]
FIG. 2 schematically shows the position of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 from
displacement due to impact to return, where (a) shows the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 held
in the normal position, (b ) Shows a state of being displaced from the holding position by impact,
(c) shows a state of returning to the origin, and (d) shows a state of returning to the normal
position. As described above, even if the positional deviation of the ultrasonic transducer
assembly 1 occurs, it can be automatically returned to the original position, so that the examiner
has generated the positional deviation of the ultrasonic transducer assembly due to the impact.
Work can be continued with the same operation as when there is no state.
[0031]
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As described above, according to the first embodiment of the present invention, when the
ultrasonic transducer assembly is held at a desired position, the ultrasonic transducer assembly is
monitored by monitoring and detecting the back electromotive force of the drive motor. Since the
positional deviation is detected, it is possible to detect that the position to acquire the
tomographic image has changed due to the positional deviation of the ultrasonic transducer
assembly at low cost without adding a special part.
[0032]
Furthermore, since the positional deviation of the ultrasonic transducer assembly can be notified,
it is possible to surely notify the examiner that the position to acquire the tomographic image has
changed, and for the handling of the ultrasonic probe. You can call attention.
[0033]
Furthermore, since the ultrasonic transducer assembly is configured to return to the holding
position before the positional deviation in response to the positional deviation, the ultrasonic
transducer assembly automatically returns to the original holding position, and the original
normal position is restored. The tomogram can be displayed, and the examiner can continue the
operation without any trouble as in the state where the positional deviation has not occurred.
[0034]
Thus, it is possible to provide an excellent ultrasonic probe which does not affect diagnosis and
operation even when it is subjected to an impact during handling.
[0035]
Next, a second embodiment of the ultrasound probe according to the present invention will be
described.
FIG. 3 is a view showing the configuration of an ultrasound probe according to a second
embodiment of the present invention.
[0036]
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Here, the back electromotive force monitoring and detection circuit 18 monitors the back
electromotive force of the coils of at least two phases which are not reverse phase of the drive
motor 11 and the detected back electromotive force is compared in phase by the phase
comparison circuit 20 Are configured to be
By this configuration, the phase of the back electromotive force of each coil can be detected by
the rotation direction of the drive motor 11.
Therefore, the displacement direction of the ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 can be detected,
and the drive direction for returning can be determined.
Furthermore, the level comparison circuit 21 and the counter 22 are connected to the back
electromotive force monitoring and detecting circuit 18 so as to detect and count the zero cross
point of the back electromotive force of the coil. With this configuration, it is possible to detect
the rotation angle of the drive motor 11 with the basic rotation angle depending on the number
of magnetic poles of the drive motor 11 as the resolution. Therefore, the basic rotation angle of
the drive motor 11 can be determined as the resolution for the amount of drive for returning.
FIG. 4 shows an example in which a two-phase stepping motor is used as the drive motor 11, and
shows the back electromotive force waveform of the A-phase coil and the B-phase coil when the
ultrasonic transducer assembly 1 is displaced due to impact. There is. Here, (a) and (b) are back
electromotive force waveforms in the case where positional deviation occurs in the opposite
direction. Here, the basic rotation angle of the drive motor 11 is 1.8 °, and the positional
deviation can be detected with this resolution. FIG. 4 shows an example in which a 28.8 °
positional deviation occurs.
[0037]
As described above, according to the ultrasonic probe of the second embodiment of the present
invention, the direction of misalignment is detected using the back electromotive force of the
drive motor, and the back electromotive force of the drive motor is Since the position shift
amount is detected using this, it is possible to determine the return direction and the return
amount after the position shift inexpensively without adding a special part.
[0038]
As described above, the ultrasonic probe according to the present invention has the excellent
effect of being able to detect the positional deviation of the ultrasonic transducer assembly due
to the impact due to handling and not causing any trouble in diagnosis or operation, The present
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invention is useful as an ultrasonic probe or the like used in an ultrasonic diagnostic apparatus
for obtaining an image in a subject using ultrasonic waves.
[0039]
The block diagram of the ultrasonic probe in the 1st embodiment of the present invention The
operation explanatory view of the ultrasonic probe in the 1st embodiment of the present
invention The ultrasonic probe in the 2nd embodiment of the present invention Design diagram
of the feeler Operation explanatory view of the ultrasonic probe in the second embodiment of the
present invention Internal detailed view of the conventional ultrasonic probe
Explanation of sign
[0040]
1,101 ultrasonic transducer assembly 2,102 connecting member 3,103 acoustic window 4,104
base 5,105 arm 6,106 oscillating shaft 7,107 oscillating bearing 8,108 first pulley 9,109 belt 10,
110 Second pulley 11, 111 Drive motor 12, 112 Motor output shaft 13, 113 Drive and control
circuit 14, 114 Input unit 15, 115 Memory unit 16, 116 Origin detector 16a, 116a Transmitter
16b, 116b Reception Section 17, 117 Origin detector 18 Counter electromotive force monitor
and detector 19 Display 20 Phase comparator 21 Level comparator 22 Counter
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