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PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a flexible ultrasonic sheet that can be easily attached to a
body surface, and can be easily used by a user without requiring expert probe alignment by
forming an array shape in which a large number of elements are arranged. Providing an array
type ultrasonic pulse wave measurement sheet. SOLUTION: Only by attaching a flexible sheet on
which ultrasonic elements are mounted in an array to a wrist in the vicinity of a radial artery, it is
sufficient to read only a signal of the ultrasonic element correctly applied to the radial artery. It
does not require alignment. [Selected figure] Figure 1
Array type ultrasonic pulse wave measurement sheet
The present invention relates to hemodynamic evaluation and blood vessel hardness
There are several examples in which micro ultrasonic transducers are arrayed in an array, and
their configurations and processing methods. However, they are all in the shape of a probe and
not in the form of a flexible and thin sheet that can be attached to a body surface.
Surface Micromachined Capacitive Ultrasonic Transducers I. Ladabaum, J. Xuecheng, H. T. Soh, A.
Atalar, B. T. Khuri-Yakub IEEE Trans on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, Vol.
45, No. 3 (1998), pp.
678X. Zhuang, D.-S. Lin, O. Oralkan, and BT Khuri-Yakub Technical Digest of the 20th IEEE
International Conference on Microelectromechanical Systems MEMS 2007), Kobe (2007, Jan.),
pp. 73-76
It provides new measurement means such as ultrasonic inspection that can be easily used by the
user and that can be monitored over time by ultrasonic waves when worn on the body surface.
A flexible ultrasound sheet that can be easily attached to the body surface, and the arrayed form
of multiple elements make it easy for the user, for example, without the need for professional, eg,
clinician or clinical engineer, probe alignment. It can be used for
As one of the specific purposes, we aim at the health management device which is attached to the
skin on the radial artery of the wrist to detect and monitor hemodynamics.
Conventional ultrasound examinations require expert probe alignment, but the flexible array
configuration allows the user to use them themselves and can be useful for health care and the
like. Batch fabrication can be performed by using MEMS technology.
Examination of image measurement target of array type ultrasonic sphygmogram measurement
sheet Structure drawing of device Taking out the image substrate wiring of array type ultrasonic
sphygmogram measurement sheet Process wiring of ultrasonic element fabrication Process flow
wiring board fabrication of ultrasonic element Material production Process flow Ultrasonic
element production Ultrasonic element production of electrode wiring pattern Backing material
formation Backing material stuck on adhesive sheet Evaluation with single element wiring
Evaluation from object without reflection from object Conversion to the distance of time change
which brings the distance to the object with reflection
Arteriosclerosis, which is a state in which elasticity and flexibility are lost due to thickening and
hardening of the arterial layer, is a major factor that causes diseases such as heart disease and
cerebrovascular disease. Early detection of arteriosclerosis is important for treatment.
The waveform of pressure in the blood vessel that occurs when blood is pushed out of the heart
is called a pulse wave, and by measuring the pulse wave, it is possible to diagnose the condition
of the blood vessel by capturing the vasomotor response, which helps early detection of
arteriosclerosis. It is done.
Moreover, in the field of integrated medicine represented by Chinese medicine and moxibustion,
there is a method called pulse diagnosis that measures pulse waves of ribs (torque) arteries (the
arteries running on the thumb side of the wrist) simultaneously at three locations. It helps to
understand the disease.
Although measurement of pulse waves has been performed by an ultrasonic probe so far, it is
specialized to align the probe to the toe (stem toe) artery to be measured (the artery running on
the thumb side of the wrist) or brachial artery etc. It requires the skills of the home, eg a clinician
or clinical engineer.
In addition, since a slight displacement between the probe and the measurement object affects
the measurement result, it is necessary to fix the probe on the wrist. However, since it is difficult
to stably fix the wrist for several minutes or more and it is practically difficult to move the probe
following the wrist, it takes time to wear and can not perform stable measurement for a long
time. In addition, as arteries which are relatively close to the body surface where ultrasonic
measurement can be made, there are carotid arteries, the superficial temporal arteries of the
head, and arteries near the surface of feet.
Therefore, by preparing a flexible and wearable sheet-like measuring device in which a plurality
of ultrasonic elements are mounted in an array, alignment of the probe by an expert is not
necessary, and simple pulse wave measurement in general homes and blood vessels Evaluation of
hardness, monitoring during exercise, etc. (see Figure 1). Multipoint simultaneous measurement
is also possible.
Ultrasonic elements are mounted in a one-dimensional or two-dimensional array on a sheet that
can be attached to the skin (rib) on the artery located near the body surface, and a flexible sheet
in which the ultrasonic elements are mounted in an array Since it is only necessary to read the
signal of the ultrasonic element (the element in red frame in FIG. 1) correctly applied to the radial
artery only by sticking on the nearby wrist, fine alignment is not required. Further, by mounting
the ultrasonic elements on the sheet in a one-dimensional or two-dimensional array, precise
alignment with the object to be measured is unnecessary.
The flexible and wearable seat shape enables monitoring during exercise. By making it flexible
and thin and light sheet-like, it moves following the object to be measured and reduces positional
Measurement items include "diameter change of radial artery," blood flow velocity using Doppler
effect, and evaluation of blood vessel hardness by elasticity measurement, etc. Simple imaging is
also possible by reducing the element size and increasing the number. Become. When looking at
the displacement of the blood vessel wall, it is not possible to measure the displacement of the
blood vessel wall only when both the blood vessel wall and the element are displaced, but if
looking at the change in diameter of the blood vessel wall, both the blood vessel wall and the
element Even when displaced, changes in the diameter of the blood vessel wall can be measured
(see FIG. 2).
A piezoelectric single crystal PMN-PT is used for an ultrasonic element (ultrasonic transducer),
Au / Cr for an electrode, and a polyimide film for a flexible substrate. A backing material is
attached to suppress the vibration on the upper electrode side and efficiently propagate
ultrasonic waves in the body (see FIG. 3).
The ultrasonic transducer does not necessarily have to be a piezoelectric single crystal, and may
be a piezoelectric ceramic such as PZT or CMUTs (Capacitive Micromachined Ultrasonic
Transducers) manufactured by MEMS technology (Non-Patent Documents 1 and 2). Further, as
the PZT, besides the bulk material, a film formed by sputtering or the like, a sheet obtained by
thinly spreading a slurry in the form of a mud, and the like can be used. Both can be fabricated
into a two-dimensional array type sheet by microfabrication technology such as MEMS. What will
be described later is one of the embodiments. The flexible substrate does not necessarily have to
be polyimide, and may be another flexible material, or a configuration in which hard non-bending
arrays are connected by a soft material or a bending structure.
Since it is necessary to be flexible mainly in the long axis direction in consideration of the
movement of the wrist, it is desirable to extend the electrode wiring in the short axis direction
(see FIG. 4).
The specifications are as follows.
-Number of elements: 30 (10 horizontal 1 x 1 column x 3)-Element size: 500μm x 500μmFlexible board size: 20mm x 20mm-Wiring: Thin coaxial cable
The process flow of ultrasonic element production is shown in FIG. Au / Cr is deposited on the
entire surface of the piezoelectric material PMN-PT (thickness 0.3 mm) by sputtering (about 600
nm), a cut (several μm) for separation of upper and lower electrodes by a dicer, and a cut for
element separation Put in (about 100 μm). The processed PMN-PT is bonded to a flexible
substrate on which an Au / Cr wiring pattern is formed (Au / Au bonding). The backing material
is attached with an adhesive sheet and separated into each element by a dicer. The coaxial cable
is attached with a conductive adhesive and polarized (see FIGS. 5 and 6).
Next, FIG. 8 shows a process flow of manufacturing a wiring board. Au / Cr is deposited on a
polyimide film (50 μm) by sputtering (about 700 nm), and a positive resist is applied by spin
coating. The resist is patterned by photolithography using a mask on which the pattern of the
wiring substrate is drawn. Unnecessary Au / Cr is etched using the resist remaining in the wiring
pattern as a mask. The resist is removed by acetone to obtain an Au / Cr wiring pattern. The
PMN-PT processed into the wiring board film is bonded by Au / Au bonding.
The process flow of backing material preparation is shown in FIG. Fill the glass plate frame with a
58: 42 mixed epoxy and tungsten backing material. As the backing, a Teflon (registered
trademark) film is used to make the backing material easy to peel off after curing. 80After curing
at .degree. C./3 h, the backing material is removed from the Teflon.RTM. Film and attached to
one side of a double-sided pressure-sensitive adhesive sheet (10 .mu.m). It cuts out to the size of
the ultrasonic element to stick with a dicer, and sticks to an ultrasonic element. The individual
elements are separated by a dicer.
In order to fabricate 10 rows of ultrasonic elements in an array at one time, PMN-PT (thickness
0.3 mm) is cut out to a size of 0.5 mm × 10 mm, and Au / Cr is sputtered onto the entire surface
while rotating. Then, a 25 μm wide slit was made to separate the upper and lower electrodes
(see FIG. 10).
In order not to cut to the substrate at the time of element separation, a cut of 100 μm in width
and 100 μm in depth is made on the lower electrode side of PMN-PT (see FIG. 11).
An electrode wiring pattern of Au / Cr was produced on a polyimide film (see FIG. 12).
A mixture of epoxy and tungsten (5.84 g: 4.16 g) is filled in a frame of a glass plate made of
Teflon (registered trademark) film in uniform thickness and cured at 80 ° C./3 h to a thickness
of about 300 μm Formed a backing material (see FIG. 13).
The backing material was removed from the glass frame on a Teflon (registered trademark) film,
applied to one side of a double-sided adhesive sheet (10 μm), cut out together with the adhesive
sheet to a size of 0.5 mm × 10 mm, and attached to PMN-PT (see FIG. 14) .
The evaluation with a single element is shown in FIG.
A single element (0.5 mm × 0.5 mm) was cut out and bonded to the wiring substrate film by Au
/ Au bonding using a flip chip bonder.
Bonding conditions: Temperature: 350 ° C / 60 min, load: 1 N, pressure: 4 MPa
As shown in FIG. 16, a coaxial cable (φ 300 μm) was attached with a conductive adhesive, and
polarization (450 V / 30 min) was performed.
Method of evaluation (see FIG. 17) • Cover with ultrasonic gel with the upper electrode side
facing down and the lower electrode side (substrate film side) facing up • Put a sponge as a
backing material to absorb the reflection on the upper electrode side Move the object (using a
metal ruler) on the substrate film, change the distance from the element, and observe the change
in waveform at that time with a digital oscilloscope ・ Convert the change in reflection time from
the object to the distance
Since the backing material is not attached to the element this time, the sponge was used as the
backing material to suppress the reflection of the ultrasonic wave on the upper electrode side.
For the objects, a metal ruler was used to obtain a large reflection (see FIGS. 18-20).
When the object is brought close, the time (horizontal axis) at which the reflected wave comes
back changes.
From the change of the time and the speed of sound (1.5 × 10 3 m / s), the change of the
distance to the object is obtained.
In the measurement by the impedance analyzer, the resonance frequency of this single element
was 1.35 MHz (see FIG. 21).
In the case of actual specifications, it is necessary to resolve the plurality of reflected sound
sources distributed at each depth to measure the vascular system, and therefore it is necessary to
improve the distance resolution by single pulse and high frequency.
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