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Published November 22, 2021 | Supplemental Material + Submitted
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Doppler Slicing for Ultrasound Super-Resolution Without Contrast Agents


Much of the information needed for diagnosis and treatment monitoring of diseases like cancer and cardiovascular disease is found at scales below the resolution limit of classic ultrasound imaging. Recently introduced vascular super-localization methods provide more than a ten-fold improvement in spatial resolution by precisely estimating the positions of microbubble contrast agents. However, most vascular ultrasound scans are currently performed without contrast agents due to the associated cost, training, and post-scan monitoring. Here we show that super-resolution ultrasound imaging of dense vascular structures can be achieved using the natural contrast of flowing blood cells. Instead of relying on separable targets, we used Fourier-based decomposition to separate signals arising from the different scales of vascular structures while removing speckle noise using multi-ensemble processing. This approach enabled the use of compressed sensing for super-resolution imaging of the underlying vascular structures, improving resolution by a factor of four. Reconstruction of ultrafast mouse brain scans revealed details that could not be resolved in regular Doppler images, agreeing closely with bubble-based super-localization microscopy of the same fields of view. By combining multi-ensemble Doppler acquisitions with narrowband Fourier decomposition and computational super-resolution imaging, this approach opens new opportunities for affordable and scalable super-resolution ultrasound imaging.

Additional Information

The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No. 792866. The authors have declared no competing interest.

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Submitted - 2021.11.19.469083v1.full.pdf

Supplemental Material - media-1.avi

Supplemental Material - media-2.pdf


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August 20, 2023
August 20, 2023