The Different Ultrasound Transducer Types
To extract the full potential of your ultrasound system, you will need to equip it with the appropriate transducer type. Transducers or probes are a vital component of your system. They produce waves of sound that bounce back to produce clear images of bodily tissues and organs.
Recent advancements mean that probe technology is as advanced as ever. Read up on the different ultrasound transducer types to determine which one best suits your intended application.
THE THREE MAIN TYPES
Transducers can vary in shape, size, and the variety of features included. The three most common types include linear, convex, and phased array.
Linear transducers, as the name suggests, have a linear piezoelectric arrangement. The shape of their beam is rectangular, and they have a better-than-average near-field resolution. Depending on what clinical application you are doing, (Vascular, breast, small parts, etc.), the linear transducer’s frequency, footprint, and applications can vary.
A transducer intended for 2D imaging has a wide footprint, with a broadband frequency of 5 MHz – 20 MHz It is useful for examining the breast, thyroid, tendons, and blood vessels, along with measuring the thickness of disease in the carotid artery
(Removed 3D wording. There is no such thing as a 3D linear probe)
The convex transducer, also commonly referred to as the curved transducer, has a piezoelectric crystal arrangement that is curvilinear. The beam has a convex shape that makes the transducer ideal for deeper organ imaging examinations.
A transducer intended for 2D imaging has a wide footprint, with a broadband frequency of roughly 2.5 MHz – 7.5 MHz It’s useful for abdominal and transvaginal examinations, along with the diagnosis of certain organs.
A transducer intended for 3D imaging has a wide field of view, with a broadband frequency of 3.5 MHz – 6.5 MHz 3D curved probes are typically electro-mechanical using moving parts within the transducer head. They are used to diagnosis abnormalities in pregnancies typically.
Another one of the different ultrasound transducer types is the phased array. The phased array transducer is so named because the crystals are arranged in a “stacked” construction, or phased array. Its beam is narrow, near triangular, and has a poorer near-field resolution. This transducer has a small footprint, with a broadband frequency of 2 MHz – 6 MHz It is used mostly in cardiac, and trans-cranial examinations.
Linear, convex, and phased array are the most common types of transducers. Other types, such as the pencil, endocavity, and transesophageal, have specific purposes—the examination of blood flow, internal cavities, and the heart, respectively. Some probes, such as the laparoscopic transducer, are specifically designed for surgical use.
When you are choosing your transducer, pick one that is best suited to your intended application. Make sure the probe you are purchasing is compatible with your system, too. Newer transducers are unlikely to work with older systems, and vice versa.
If you are searching for the perfect ultrasound probe, MXR Imaging can help. Check out our inventory for transducers, replacement parts, and more.