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Medical Science and OCT Applications | Spectrum

Medical Science

Digitizers are playing an increasing role in medical science particularly when fast electronic signals such as those encountered when using ultrasound, lasers and radiation need to be acquired, analyzed and displayed. The ability of digitizers to convert these types of analog signals into digital information which can then be transferred at high-speeds into computers makes them ideal whenever the information needs to be  analyzed and quickly presented. Fast medical imaging is being used to improve diagnosis and help detect disease in the fields of radiology, nuclear medicine, ultrasonography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), optical coherence tomography (OCT) and photo-acoustic imaging, dosimetry, positron emission tomography (PET) and other related non-invasive inspection methods.

To cover the broad range and diverse nature of the electronic signals found in medical science Spectrum offers a wide range of digitizers and arbitrary waveform generators. The products are available in a variety of popular standards including PCI, PCIe, PXI and LXI. They offer bandwidths from 50 kHz to 1.5 GHz, sampling rates from 100 KS/s to 5 GS/s, and resolution from 8 up to 16 bits. When large dynamic range and maximum sensitivity is required high-resolution 14 and 16 bit digitizers are available for the capture and analysis of signals that go as high as 250 MHz in frequency. These high-resolution products deliver outstanding signal-to-noise ratio's (up to 72 dB) and spurious free dynamic range (of up to 90 dB) so that small signal variations can be detected and analyzed. They are ideal for use with the sensors used in ultrasound and photo-acoustic systems while the high speed, wide bandwidth digitizers are available to capture the fast pulses (down to the nano and sub-nanosecond ranges) often found in nuclear medicine.

The digitizers are also equipped with ultra-fast trigger circuits, complete with trigger time stamping, so that the dead-time between acquisitions can be extremely small (down to as little as 16 ns). Together with large on-board memories (up to 4 GSamples/card) and advanced streaming and readout modes this makes the digitizers suited to applications where long and complex signals need to be captured and analyzed. Data can be stored in the on-board memory or streamed in FIFO mode over the fast PCIe bus of the digitizer to a PC. By streaming data to a RAID based storage array it's even possible to seamlessly store hours of information. To help with data analysis and data reduction Spectrum's M4i series of digitizers also feature on-board FPGA based processing functions that can be perform on-the-fly Averaging and Peak detection routines.

Each digitizer card can have from one to four channels and up to eight cards can be linked together with Spectrum's StarHub system to create instruments with up to 32 fully synchronous channels, making them perfect for applications where multiple sensors and large sensor arrays are deployed.

Spectrum Product Features

  • High Sampling Rates up to 5 GS/s and 1.5 GHz bandwidth
  • 14 and 16 bit Resolution
  • Fast Trigger and Read-Out Rates
  • External Clock and Reference Inputs
  • FPGA based Block Average and Block Statisctics (Peak Detect) Options

Matching Card Families

  • M4i.22xx: 8 bit 5 GS/s to 1.25 GS/s digitizer
  • M4i.44xx: 14/16 bit 500 MS/s to 130 MS/s digitizer
  • M2i.49xx: 16 Bit 10 MS/s to 60 MS/s digitizer
  • DN2.4xx: 16 Bit 500 MS/s to 200 kS/s digitizerNETBOX LXI/Ethernet Digitizer

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Useful Links

  • Find out how Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, uses a high speed 16 bit Spectrum digitizer M4i.4420-x8 for Photoacoustic Imaging by clicking here
  • See how fast Spectrum digitizers M2i.2031 and M2i.4022 are used for OCT data acquisition at the University of Sheffield, UK, by clicking here
  • See how the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, at University College London, UK, use an M4i.4420-x8 high-resolution digitizer in a miniature all optical ultrasonic 3D endoscopic imaging system by clicking here
  • Click here to find out how the School of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, University of Leeds, UK, are using a Spectrum M4i.4420-x8 high-resolution digitizer, plasmonic gold nanorods and high intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) to improve non-invasive techniques for the treatment of cancerous tissue
  • Laser-scanning confocal fluorescence microscopy is a relatively new and important tool for biomedical research. At the University of Tokyo they are able to demonstrate confocal fluorescence microscopy at a record high frame rate of 16,000 frames/s thanks to new research and the use of a Spectrum M4i.2212-x8 high-speed digitizer. Click here to read the full story.
  • At the Queensland Brain Institute, University of Queensland, researchers are using a Spectrum M4i.4421-x8 16 bit digitizer to study ultrasound propagation in materials that are used to model the human skull as well as investigating therapeutic ultrasound as a potential means to treat diseases of the brain.
  • At the University of Konstanz a fast high resolution Spectrum M3i.4142 digitizer provides nanosecond time-resolution in an FTIR spectroscopy system that’s used to investigate protein-membrane interactions. See the full details here
  • The Laboratory of Acoustical Waveform Imaging, Department of Imaging Physics, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands, is developing the Delft Breast Ultrasound Scanning System (DBUS) as a means for detecting the presence of tumors. Find out how they are using the 14 bit M3i.4142 digitizer by following this link
  • A video-rate all-optical ultrasound imaging system, where ultrasound is generated and detected using light, has been demonstrated at the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, University College London, UK. The system uses a Spectrum M4i.4420-x8 high resolution 16 bit digitizer to acquire signals from a broadband photodiode. Details on how the system enables real-time, video-rate 2D ultrasound imaging, at a frame rate of 15 Hz, can be found here