JP2003033354

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DESCRIPTION JP2003033354
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an
intracavity ultrasonic probe which is inserted into a body cavity of a subject and scans an
ultrasonic beam.
[0002]
2. Description of the Related Art An intracavity ultrasonic probe is inserted into the human body
through the mouth and anus of the human body and is used for observation from the inside of
the esophagus wall, the intestinal wall and the like. For this reason, various contrivances are
made as follows about the bending part freely bent along the complicated shape of tubular
organs, such as an intestinal tract.
[0003]
First, as disclosed in Japanese Patent No. 2790253 (the first conventional method), an ultrasonic
transducer group in which a plurality of transducers for transmitting and receiving ultrasonic
waves are arranged in an array, and the ultrasonic wave at one end An electrode lead for
extracting a signal from each ultrasonic transducer of the transducer group is formed, and a
flexible printed circuit board formed at a predetermined angle with the longitudinal direction of
the transducer with respect to the ultrasonic transducer group is provided. Electronic scanning
ultrasound probe.
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[0004]
In the printed circuit board, the portion where the ultrasonic transducer group is arranged is
formed in a rectangular shape, and the electrode extraction portion provided in a continuous
manner with the rectangular portion is subjected to the ultrasonic vibration of the electrode
pattern on the surface. At the same time, the outer shape of the printed circuit is cut at the same
angle as the pattern.
Bonded portions are provided at both ends of the circuit board portion where the ultrasonic
transducer group is disposed, and the bonded portions are provided at one end of the circuit
board portion on which the electrode pattern is formed. Furthermore, when the printed circuit is
formed in a cylindrical shape and the respective bonded portions are bonded with an adhesive,
the electrode pattern is formed in a spiral shape, and a gap which can be a bonded portion of the
printed circuit board is also formed in a spiral shape. Such a configuration allows the printed
circuit board to be bent without being broken.
[0005]
The printed circuit board also divides the ultrasonic transducer group into blocks, and for each
block, leads out the electrode lead-out portions of the printed circuit board in the directions of θ,
-θ, θ, -θ. Thus, when the ultrasonic transducer group and the printed circuit board are formed
in a cylindrical shape, the printed circuit board is configured like a mesh. The processing of the
ends connecting the leads of the printed circuit board is slightly shifted so that the positions of
the lands to which the leads are attached when the printed circuit board is knitted do not overlap
with the lands of other printed circuit boards. Further, at the end to which the lead wire is
connected, a bonding portion for bonding the respective printed circuit boards is provided and
fixed. Thus, when the mesh is constructed, it is possible to further bend the (one non-divided)
printed circuit board.
[0006]
Next, as disclosed in Japanese Utility Model Laid-Open Publication No. 5-13408 (the second
conventional method), an ultrasonic sensor is provided on the tip end side of a bendable cylinder,
and ultrasonic waves are generated by a Flexible Print Circuit (FPC). Pass the signal from the
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sensor to the end cable. The FPC is provided with a plurality of slits along the length direction
and rounded in the width direction. The periphery is surrounded by a coil slip ring connected to
the GND of the ultrasonic sensor.
[0007]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION However, in the first conventional method, the printed circuit
board is in the form of a single plate, or even in the example of the prior art divided into blocks,
the printed circuit board The printed circuit board is substantially in the form of a single plate
because there is the step of bonding.
[0008]
As described above, since the printed circuit board is a single plate, the bendable range of the
intracavity probe is limited by the rigidity of the printed circuit board when inserted into the
body cavity of the subject. Due to the limitation of the curvature, in some cases the body cavity
probe can not be sufficiently curved along a complicatedly curved tubular organ, and a part of
the body cavity ultrasonic probe is a part of the tubular organ. It has not been taken into
consideration that the subject may suffer pain, such as contact with the wall.
[0009]
Further, in the second conventional method, the FPC is provided with a plurality of slits along the
length direction and they are surrounded by coil springs, but a body cavity for which a reduction
in diameter and multichanneling are required In the internal ultrasonic probe, if the coil spring is
disposed, the FPC can not be disposed in the space, and the needs to increase the bending
property of the bending portion can not be satisfied.
[0010]
Furthermore, in the field of ultrasound, not only diagnosis but, for example, treatment of cancer
cells with cauterized cancer by irradiation with intense ultrasound is performed, and electronic
devices such as the treatment apparatus and the present invention are adopted. A sonography
device is used in combination.
At that time, it is also required to consider measures against noise that intrudes into the
ultrasound probe from the electronic device.
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[0011]
An object of the present invention is to provide an intracavity ultrasonic probe which copes with
the diameter reduction and the multi-channeling, and in which the bending property of the
bending portion is enhanced.
[0012]
Another object of the present invention is to provide an intracavity ultrasonic probe which takes
noise countermeasures into consideration.
[0013]
The above object is to provide a transducer arranged in a plurality of channels for transmitting
and receiving ultrasonic waves, and connected to each channel of these transducers to supply a
transmission signal to the transducer, and In the intracavity ultrasonic probe provided with a
flexible substrate printed with a signal line for taking out a received signal from a vibrator, the
flexible substrate forms at least two or more channel blocks obtained by dividing the plurality of
channels, The present invention is achieved by an intracavity ultrasonic probe characterized in
that the channel block of (1) is spirally wound.
[0014]
Also, another object of the present invention is to provide a shield material on each of the two or
more flexible substrates formed, or to provide at least one shield material of a shield material
that covers the flexible substrates in a state of putting them together. This is achieved by the
characterized intracavity ultrasound probe.
[0015]
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION An intracavity ultrasonic probe according to
the present invention will be described with reference to the drawings.
First, an intracavity ultrasonic probe called a radial type is taken as an example.
FIG. 2 is a view showing the connection relationship of the transducer portion of the radial
intracavity ultrasonic probe, the flexible substrate, and the cable.
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[0016]
The vibrator portion 1 is formed by arranging a plurality of channels of vibrator elements.
The flexible substrate 2 has one end connected to each channel of the transducer element, and
the other end is provided with a cable connection portion 5 so as to be connectable to a cable for
transmitting and receiving a signal line.
In the flexible substrate 2, the signal pattern 4 is laid so that signals can be transmitted and
received between the transducer element of the transducer unit 1 and the cable connection unit
5, and the signal patterns 4 are electrically isolated from each other.
Further, the flexible substrate 2 is not composed of a single substrate, but is formed by dividing a
part of all channels into blocks into the notches 3.
In addition, it is preferable to arrange the ground so as to sandwich the signal pattern 4 because
crosstalk can be prevented during signal transmission. Further, the flexible substrates 2 divided
respectively form an angle θ with the vibrator portion 1 so that each can be wound in a spiral
shape.
[0017]
Next, FIG. 1 is a view showing a state in which the flexible substrate of the intracavity ultrasonic
probe according to the present invention is spirally wound. The vibrator unit 1 is rounded and
fixed as shown. In this fixing, in addition to adhesion, a mold or the like can be fitted. The flexible
substrate 2 is spirally wound so as to be separated by the inter-substrate gap g. Here, the gap g is
determined by how much the cylinder covering the flexible substrate 2 is bent. Therefore, the
principle will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 3 is a principle diagram for calculating the
gap g. Assuming that the radius in the process of bending the cylinder in an arc shape is R, the
thickness of the cylinder is d, and the width per flexible substrate is a, the gap g is as shown in
Formula (1). g=a・d/R…(1)
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[0018]
As described above, according to the number of divisions of the flexible substrate 2 whose gap is
determined, the flexible tube 2 made of synthetic resin, synthetic rubber or the like is called a
flexible tube as shown in FIG. Be placed. FIG. 4 is a view showing an arrangement relationship
between a flexible tube accommodating a flexible substrate and the like and a plurality of flexible
substrates. Fig. 4 (a) is an example in which the flexible substrate is divided into two and each is
wound in a spiral, Fig. 4 (b) is an example of three division, Fig. 4 (c) is an example of four
division, and Fig. 4 (d) is An example of five divisions is shown. The six or more divisions are
arranged in the closest packing arrangement.
[0019]
Next, how the flexible substrate is curved will be described. FIG. 5 is a view showing an aspect
from pulling out of a flexible substrate to bending. The flexible substrate is shrunk as shown in
FIG. 5A in a state where it is not necessary to bend. And when it becomes necessary to curve,
since it has a structure which extends as shown in FIG. 5 (b), it can be curved as shown in FIG. 5
(c). In addition to the radial probe, the ultrasound probe in the body cavity is a convex probe, an
esophagus probe, and an abdominal probe, so these application examples will be mentioned.
[0020]
FIG. 6 is a view showing an application example of the present invention to a convex-type
ultrasonic probe, FIG. 7 is a view showing an application example of the present invention to a
transesophageal ultrasonic probe, and FIG. It is a figure which shows the example of application
of this invention to an ultrasonic probe. The radial shape has a field of view in the cross-sectional
direction of the inner surface of the tubular organ, while the convex shape has a rectangular field
of view of the inner wall. Many of the transesophagus applications have, for example, circular
views and polygonal views as shown. In addition, although it is a rectangular field of vision
similar to the convex shape for abdominal cavity, it is not intended to be inserted into the subject
along the tubular organ but be inserted into the body surface of the subject and inserted. The
portion held by the person is hard to handle with the flexible tube 8 and thus is a hard portion
12.
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[0021]
Further, as shown in FIG. 9A, the flexible substrate may be covered with a resin tube 13 in order
to cope with bending stress. The cross-sectional view of the cylinder covered with the resin tube
13 is arranged as shown in FIG. 9 (b). An example of five divisions is given in FIG. Also, as shown
in FIG. 10, the flexible substrate is composed of a two-layer printed circuit board, in which one
signal line is disposed in one layer, and the GND layer 14 is disposed in the other layer. . Thus,
the pattern of the signal line can be integrated in the layer of the signal line, which is effective for
achieving multiple channels and is also effective for eliminating crosstalk. A cross-sectional view
of a cylinder in which a two-layered flexible substrate is disposed is disposed as shown in FIG. An
example of five divisions is given in FIG.
[0022]
According to the above-described embodiment, the limitation of the bendable range in which the
flexible substrate (printed circuit board) is a single plate is released, and the degree of bending
can be appropriately secured. Since no arrangement is made, it is possible to cope with the
reduction in diameter and the increase in number of channels.
[0023]
Also, the division of the flexible substrate may divide the channel equally, but may divide it
unevenly.
In addition, since the gap is set to an appropriate value, disconnection of the signal line in the
flexible substrate is less likely to occur. Further, it goes without saying that a combination of the
respective embodiments, such as a flexible substrate covered with a resin tube or a flexible
substrate formed by a multi-layered pattern of two or more layers, is also applied to the present
invention.
[0024]
Next, an embodiment of the shield measure will be described. 11 and 12 show an example of a
structure in which the FPC is covered with a shield material. First, as shown in FIG. 11, the
vibrator portion 1 is formed in a cylindrical shape, and the FPC 2 is further processed into a
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spiral shape. Each of the FPCs 2 is mutually insulated by a resinous tube 13. A shield material 20
such as a conductive tape is attached to the exterior of the resin tube 13. As the shield material, a
conductive spiral tube, a cross tube, or the like having high flexibility and a high shield effect is
used.
[0025]
Next, as shown in FIG. 12, the set of FPCs assembled in FIG. The shield material 21 covering the
outside of the cable may be made of the same material as the shield material 20, or may be a
biased shield used in a coaxial cable or the like. Since both the shield material 20 and the shield
material 21 are conductive materials, they are electrically connected by being disposed in contact
with each other. By connecting the shield material 20 and the shield material 21, a shield
property is further improved.
[0026]
Alternatively, metal powder of gold, silver or copper may be deposited on the surface of the resin
tube protecting the spiral flexible substrate without using a shield material. Also, although
detailed description will be omitted, it can be applied to all the intracavity ultrasound probes
including the convex ultrasound probe described in FIG. 6 and the transesophageal ultrasound
probe described in FIG. Needless to say.
[0027]
As described above, when the signal is extracted from the transducer to the ultrasonic probe, the
spiral flexible substrate is shielded by using a material having a shielding effect, and thus other
electronic devices and medical devices can be obtained. When used simultaneously with the
device, it is possible to provide a clear ultrasonic image because the electromagnetic wave noise
generated by these devices can be cut off, which affects the ultrasonic image.
[0028]
Industrial Applicability The present invention has the effect of providing an intracavity ultrasonic
probe capable of coping with the diameter reduction and the multi-channeling, as well as
enhancing the curability of the bending portion.
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[0029]
Further, the present invention has an effect of providing an intracavity ultrasonic probe in
consideration of noise control.
[0030]
Brief description of the drawings
[0031]
1 is a view showing a state in which the flexible substrate of the in-body ultrasound probe
according to the present invention is spirally wound.
[0032]
2 is a diagram showing the connection relationship of the transducer portion of the ultrasound
probe in the body cavity of the present invention, the flexible substrate and the cable.
[0033]
3 is a diagram showing an aspect of the curvature of the flexible intracavity probe for
accommodating the flexible substrate and the like.
[0034]
4 is a diagram showing the arrangement relationship between a flexible tube accommodating a
flexible substrate and the like and a plurality of flexible substrates.
[0035]
5 is a diagram showing an aspect from pulling out of the flexible substrate to bending.
[0036]
6 is a diagram showing an application example of the present invention to a convex type
ultrasound probe.
[0037]
7 is a diagram showing an application example of the present invention to a transesophageal
ultrasonic probe.
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[0038]
8 is a diagram showing an application example of the present invention to an ultrasound probe
for abdominal cavity.
[0039]
9 is a view showing an embodiment when the flexible substrate is covered with a resin tube.
[0040]
10 is a diagram showing an embodiment when the flexible substrate is a two-layer substrate.
[0041]
11 is a view showing an example in which the shield material is covered on each flexible
substrate.
[0042]
12 is a view showing an example in which the shield material and the flexible substrate are
electrically connected to the flexible tube accommodating FIG.
[0043]
Explanation of sign
[0044]
DESCRIPTION OF SYMBOLS 1 ... Vibrator part, 2 ... Flexible substrate (FPC), 5 ... Cable connection
part, 20, 21 ... Shield material
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