Super-Resolved Micro-Vascular Imaging Using Microbubbles and Machine Learning

Christensen-Jeffries, Kirsten ;   Schirmer, Markus D ;   Browning, Richard ;   Tang, Meng-Xing ;   Dunsby, Christopher ;   Aljabar, Paul ;   Eckersley, Robert John

Recent developments in sub-diffraction ultrasound (US) imaging using clinical US systems has shown the potential to resolve structures on the micrometer scale using microbubbles (MBs). These rely on user-defined thresholds for MB identification making their clinical application challenging. Here, an automated post-processing algorithm based on k-means clustering has been developed to identify noise, individual and multiple MB in vivo without user interaction. This method has the potential to non-invasively image in real-time pathological or therapeutic changes in the micro-vasculature at centimeter depths in a clinical setting.