Inventors at Georgia Tech have developed a method for manufacturing a CMUT array that minimizes interconnects and the overall size of the imaging sensor. This invention discloses new methods of constructing forward looking intravascular and intra-cardiac ultrasound imaging catheters. These catheters are made using CMUT technology and several interconnect schemes based on through wafer via technology. One can create silicon arrays with 1 mm diameter and 1-2 mm thickness by utilizing through wafer vias to connect the electronics and CMUTs on top the surface of the silicon chips to the electrical pads on the bottom surface. The flexible connections can be made through the center opening or over the CMUT arrays with minimal disturbance of the ultrasound imaging beams.
- Improve functionality for use in ultrasonic imaging applications
- Smaller catheters with high performance, especially for volumetric imaging
- Use in a variety of ultrasound technologies
- Medical device technology
- Soft tissue/Vascular imaging
- Miniature ultrasound imaging catheters
In intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) imaging, it is important to have complex functionality at a small catheter tip to generate forward looking volumetric images of small coronary arteries. Current IVUS catheters provide only cross sectional images with piezoelectric transducers and simple electronics at the tip. There is a need for a method for manufacturing and maximizing the performance of a capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer (CMUT) based IVUS imaging array while minimizing array cross-section, utilizing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) silicon chip manufacturing methods, and minimizing the number of external interconnects required. A compact interconnect scheme between the CMUT, high and low voltage CMOS chips is also needed while minimizing the overall size of the catheter.