Office of Technology Transfer – University of Michigan

Conducting Phase-Sensitive Acoustoelectric Hydrophone

Technology #3677

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Russell Witte
Managed By
Janani Ramaswamy
Licensing Specialist, Medical Deviceses 734-763-9081
Patent Protection
US Patent Pending


Conventional methods for mapping cardiac currents fields lack either spatial resolution (e.g., ECG) or are time consuming (e.g, intra-cardiac catheter electrode mapping).


Researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a new method and apparatus that measures an ultrasound transducer’s beam pattern and calibrated focal pressure based on the interaction between pressure and current. This invention improves on existing technology to calibrate an ultrasound transducer and measure/image its 2D and 3D beam pattern. Typical devices, such as a mechanical or fiber-optic hydrophone, generally provide low sensitivity, cost thousands of dollars and/or consist of sensitive parts prone to damage. This low cost method and apparatus combines high sensitivity with high resolution and can be assembled with relatively inexpensive parts making it potentially reusable or disposable. The device offers minimal disturbance of the propagating ultrasound pressure field, making it attractive for many applications that require real-time probing of the ultrasound field.

Applications and Advantages


  • Biomedical e.g, high intensity focused ultrasound [HIFU] for noninvasive surgery
  • Geological testing


  • Simple
  • Low cost
  • High sensitivity and spatial resolution