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The purpose of this project is to design and construct a low-cost device to produce a 3D image from existing ultrasound images in a clinical setting. Our client is Joseph McIsaac, an anesthesiologist at Hartford Hospital. When determining where the brachial plexus is using the ultrasound probe, it is difficult to reconstruct in one’s mind the 3D configuration of this nerve, so the proposal for this project is to ease this aspect of a clinician’s job. With knowledge of the location of the probe when the two dimensional ultrasound image is produced and mathematical calculations, it was expected that an algorithm could be made to take these images and reconstruct them into a three dimensional image.
To determine the spatial configuration of the probe, an attachment consisting of three spheres oriented in an equilateral triangle is placed directly on the probe. Two typical web cameras are used to take pictures of the ultrasound probe and this “tracking pyramid” attachment. The cameras are interfaced with an image recognition program to detect changes in the position of the probe throughout the procedure. Knowing these changes along with the distance between the probe and the cameras, and the differences between the two images produced from the cameras, we are able to use stereo triangulation to calculate the exact spatial configuration of the probe. The images produced from the cameras are synced with the ultrasound images which are compiled in a 3D reconstruction program to produce a 3D image which corresponds to what was imaged in the clinical procedure.
It is intended to make this design freely available to hospitals and clinics nationwide. All software is written in LabVIEW Developer Suite, and will be made available as a stand-alone program. Included with this will be a manual with instructions to setup and implement this device, making it truly useful to physicians in any aspect of healthcare.