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Super-resolution Ultrasound Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Kirsten Mia Christensen-Jeffries, Olivier Couture, Paul A. Dayton, Yonina C. Eldar, Kullervo Hynynen, Fabian Kiessling, Meaghan O'Reilly, Gianmarco F. Pinton, Georg Schmitz, Meng-Xing Tang, Mickael Tanter, Ruud J.G. van Sloun

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)865–891
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Early online date20 Jan 2020
Accepted/In press20 Nov 2019
E-pub ahead of print20 Jan 2020
Published1 Apr 2020


King's Authors


The majority of exchanges of oxygen and nutrients are performed around vessels smaller than 100 μm, allowing cells to thrive everywhere in the body. Pathologies such as cancer, diabetes and arteriosclerosis can profoundly alter the microvasculature. Unfortunately, medical imaging modalities only provide indirect observation at this scale. Inspired by optical microscopy, ultrasound localization microscopy has bypassed the classic compromise between penetration and resolution in ultrasonic imaging. By localization of individual injected microbubbles and tracking of their displacement with a subwavelength resolution, vascular and velocity maps can be produced at the scale of the micrometer. Super-resolution ultrasound has also been performed through signal fluctuations with the same type of contrast agents, or through switching on and off nano-sized phase-change contrast agents. These techniques are now being applied pre-clinically and clinically for imaging of the microvasculature of the brain, kidney, skin, tumors and lymph nodes.

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