Researchers at the famed Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft have developed a radical new way to obtain high quality 3-dimensional images from a rather inexpensive 2-dimensional ultrasound machine.
3-D images of the inside of the body are in great demand for diagnostic purposes. But the equipment required to produce them is extremely expensive. Thanks to a new development, conventional 2-D ultrasound scanners can now be inexpensively upgraded to provide 3-D images.
Almost every doctor’s surgery has an ultrasound scanner. Medical ultrasonography allows us to see an unborn child in its mother’s womb and helps to detect gall stones or identify tumor-like lumps. It plays a particularly important role in the early detection of breast cancer. Three-dimensional sonography can provide especially informative
images, for instance allowing the structure of tumors, their growth pattern and their blood supply to be clearly distinguished from healthy tissue. Although 3-D technology has been available since the 1990s, it remains prohibitively expensive. Physicians and clinics wishing to upgrade from 2-D to 3-D technology usually have to invest around 50,000 euros in new equipment.