Acoustoelectric Time-Reversal for Ultrasound Phase-Aberration Correction

Chet Preston, Alexander M. Alvarez, Margaret Allard, Andres Barragan, Russell S. Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Acoustoelectric imaging (AEI) is a technique that combines ultrasound (US) with radio frequency recording to detect and map local current source densities. This study demonstrates a new method called acoustoelectric time reversal (AETR), which uses AEI of a small current source to correct for phase aberrations through a skull or other US-aberrating layers with applications to brain imaging and therapy. Simulations conducted at three different US frequencies (0.5, 1.5, and 2.5 MHz) were performed through media layered with different sound speeds and geometries to induce aberrations of the US beam. Time delays of the acoustoelectric (AE) signal from a monopole within the medium were calculated for each element to enable corrections using AETR. Uncorrected aberrated beam profiles were compared with those after applying AETR corrections, which demonstrated a strong recovery (29%-100%) of lateral resolution and increases in focal pressure up to 283%. To further demonstrate the practical feasibility of AETR, we further conducted bench-top experiments using a 2.5 MHz linear US array to perform AETR through 3-D-printed aberrating objects. These experiments restored lost lateral restoration up to 100% for the different aberrators and increased focal pressure up to 230% after applying AETR corrections. Cumulatively, these results highlight AETR as a powerful tool for correcting focal aberrations in the presence of a local current source with applications to AEI, US imaging, neuromodulation, and therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)854-864
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2023


  • High intensity focused ultrasound ablation (HIFU)
  • skull aberrations
  • time reversal (TR)
  • transcranial brain imaging
  • ultrasound (US) neuromodulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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