Design and Optimization of Ultrasound Phased Arrays for Large-Scale Ultrasound Neuromodulation

Sheikh Jawad Ilham, Zeinab Kashani, Mehdi Kiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Low-intensity transcranial focused ultrasound stimulation (tFUS), as a noninvasive neuromodulation modality, has shown to be effective in animals and even humans with improved millimeter-scale spatial resolution compared to its noninvasive counterparts. But conventional tFUS systems are built with bulky single-element ultrasound (US) transducers that must be mechanically moved to change the stimulation target. To achieve large-scale ultrasound neuromodulation (USN) within a given tissue volume, a US transducer array should electronically be driven in a beamforming fashion (known as US phased array) to steer focused ultrasound beams towards different neural targets. This paper presents the theory and design methodology of US phased arrays for USN at a large scale. For a given tissue volume and sonication frequency (f), the optimal geometry of a US phased array is found with an iterative design procedure that maximizes a figure of merit (FoM) and minimizes side/grating lobes (avoiding off-target stimulation). The proposed FoM provides a balance between the power efficiency and spatial resolution of a US array in USN. A design example of a US phased array has been presented for USN in a rat's brain with an optimized linear US array. In measurements, the fabricated US phased array with 16 elements (16.7×7.7×2 mm3), driven by 150 V (peak-peak) pulses at f = 833.3 kHz, could generate a focused US beam with a lateral resolution of 1.6 mm and pressure output of 1.15 MPa at a focal distance of 12 mm. The capability of the US phased array in beam steering and focusing from -60o to 60o angles was also verified in measurements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1454-1466
Number of pages13
JournalIEEE transactions on biomedical circuits and systems
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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