Phantom with multiple active points for ultrasound calibration

Haichong K. Zhang, Alexis Cheng, Younsu Kim, Qianli Ma, Gregory S. Chirikjian, Emad M. Boctor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Accurate tracking and localization of ultrasound (US) images are used in various computer-assisted interventions. US calibration is a preoperative procedure to recover the transformation bridging the tracking sensor and the US image coordinate systems. Although many calibration phantom designs have been proposed, a limitation that hinders the resulted calibration accuracy is US elevational beam thickness. Previous studies have proposed an active-echo (AE)-based calibration concept to overcome this limitation by utilizing dynamic active US feedback from a single PZT element-based phantom, which assists in placing the phantom within the US elevational plane. However, the process of searching elevational midplane is time-consuming and requires dedicated hardware to enable "AE" functionality. Extending this active phantom, we present a US calibration concept and associated mathematical framework enabling fast and accurate US calibration using multiple "active" points. The proposed US calibration can simplify the calibration procedure by minimizing the number of times midplane search is performed and shortening calibration time. This concept is demonstrated with a configuration mechanically tracking a US probe using a robot arm. We validated the concept through simulation and experiment, and achieved submillimeter calibration accuracy. This result indicates that the multiple active-point phantom has potential to provide superior calibration performance for applications requiring high tracking accuracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number045001
JournalJournal of Medical Imaging
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018


  • active-echo
  • calibration phantom
  • ultrasound calibration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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