JP2012095178

Patent Translate
Powered by EPO and Google
Notice
This translation is machine-generated. It cannot be guaranteed that it is intelligible, accurate,
complete, reliable or fit for specific purposes. Critical decisions, such as commercially relevant or
financial decisions, should not be based on machine-translation output.
DESCRIPTION JP2012095178
An acoustic lens, an ultrasonic probe and an ultrasonic wave of an ultrasonic probe capable of
maintaining good wear resistance while suppressing influence on characteristics of the acoustic
lens such as acoustic characteristics and chemical resistance characteristics. Provided are a
method of manufacturing an image display and an acoustic lens of an ultrasonic probe. An
acoustic lens 6 of an ultrasonic probe 3 is characterized in that a base material B is formed of a
material containing particles P of a fluorocarbon resin. The particles P of the fluorine resin are in
a diffused state in the base material B, and it is preferable that the compounding ratio is 1 to 10%
by weight with respect to the base material B. The fluorine resin is, for example,
polytetrafluoroethylene, and the base material B is, for example, silicone rubber. [Selected figure]
Figure 2
Acoustic lens of ultrasonic probe, ultrasonic probe, ultrasonic image display apparatus, and
method of manufacturing acoustic lens of ultrasonic probe
[0001]
The present invention relates to an acoustic lens, an ultrasonic probe, an ultrasonic image display
apparatus, and a method of manufacturing an acoustic lens of an ultrasonic probe, which have
good wear resistance without deteriorating acoustic characteristics, chemical resistance
characteristics, and the like.
[0002]
The ultrasonic probe is provided with an acoustic lens for focusing the ultrasonic beam on the
03-05-2019
1
contact surface with the subject.
The acoustic lens is required to have an acoustic impedance close to that of the subject, and to
have durability to a chemical solution used when sterilizing the ultrasonic probe. Examples of
materials that satisfy the characteristics required as an acoustic lens such as acoustic
characteristics such as acoustic impedance and chemical resistance characteristics include
silicone rubber.
[0003]
However, silicone rubber is not good in slipperiness and is prone to abrasion due to friction
during use. When the wear of the acoustic lens progresses, the change of the curvature causes
deterioration of the image quality, and the exposure of the electric component built in the
ultrasonic probe.
[0004]
By the way, in the ultrasonic probe described in Patent Document 1, the acoustic lens is formed
of PTFE (polytetrafluoroethylene). Further, in the ultrasonic probe described in Patent Document
2, a protective film containing PTFE or a fluorine resin is formed on the surface of the acoustic
lens. The fluorine resin such as PTFE has good slipperiness, and according to the ultrasonic
probe described in Patent Documents 1 and 2, good abrasion resistance of the acoustic lens is
expected due to the improvement of the slipperiness.
[0005]
Japanese Examined Patent Publication No. 63-45540.
[0006]
However, if the acoustic lens itself is formed of PTFE as in the ultrasonic probe described in
Patent Document 1, it is not preferable because it affects the acoustic characteristics and the like.
03-05-2019
2
On the other hand, when a protective film containing PTFE or a fluorine resin is formed on the
surface of the acoustic lens as in the ultrasonic probe described in Patent Document 2, the
influence on the acoustic characteristics and the like can be suppressed. However, although
having good slipperiness and good abrasion resistance, it does not mean that no abrasion occurs,
and the protective film is gradually worn away during use. And if the said protective film
disappears by abrasion, abrasion resistance will reduce. Therefore, it is not an acoustic lens that
continuously has good wear resistance. In order to maintain the abrasion resistance, it is
conceivable to increase the thickness of the protective film, but increasing the thickness of the
protective film increases the influence on the acoustic characteristics.
[0007]
Therefore, an acoustic lens, an ultrasonic probe, and an ultrasonic image of an ultrasonic probe
capable of maintaining good wear resistance while suppressing influence on characteristics of
the acoustic lens such as acoustic characteristics and chemical resistance characteristics. There is
a need for a method of manufacturing a display and an acoustic lens for an ultrasound probe.
[0008]
The invention of the first aspect made to solve the above-mentioned problems is an acoustic lens
of an ultrasonic probe characterized in that it is formed of a material containing fluorine resin
particles in a base material. .
[0009]
The invention of a second aspect is the acoustic lens of an ultrasonic probe according to the first
aspect, wherein the particles of the fluorocarbon resin are in a diffused state in the base material.
[0010]
The invention of a third aspect is the sound of an ultrasonic probe according to the invention of
the first or second aspect, characterized in that the particles of the fluorocarbon resin have a
blending ratio of 1 to 10% by weight with respect to the base material. It is a lens.
[0011]
The invention of a fourth aspect is an acoustic lens of an ultrasonic probe according to the
invention of any one of the first to third aspects, wherein the fluorocarbon resin is
polytetrafluoroethylene.
03-05-2019
3
[0012]
The invention according to a fifth aspect is the acoustic lens of an ultrasonic probe according to
any one of the first to fourth aspects, wherein the base material is silicone rubber.
[0013]
An invention of a sixth aspect is an ultrasonic probe having the acoustic lens according to the
invention of the first to fifth aspects.
[0014]
An invention of a seventh aspect is an ultrasonic image display apparatus comprising the
ultrasonic probe according to the invention of the sixth aspect.
[0015]
The invention according to the eighth aspect is the mixing step of mixing the particles of the
fluorocarbon resin in the liquid silicone rubber as the base material, and the silicone rubber
mixed with the particles of the fluorocarbon resin by stirring the fluorocarbon resin in the
silicone rubber. A method of manufacturing an acoustic lens of an ultrasonic probe, comprising: a
diffusion step of diffusing particles; and a molding step of curing a silicone rubber in which
fluorine resin particles are diffused to form an acoustic lens.
[0016]
According to the invention of the above aspect, since the acoustic lens of the ultrasonic probe is
made of a material containing particles of fluorocarbon resin, the slipperiness is improved by the
action of the particles of fluorocarbon resin present on the surface of the acoustic lens.
Therefore, it has good abrasion resistance.
Moreover, since the particles of the fluorocarbon resin are contained not only on the surface of
the acoustic lens but also on the entire surface, the particles of the fluorocarbon resin are always
present on the surface even if the acoustic lens is worn.
03-05-2019
4
As a result, the good slidability can be maintained, and good wear resistance can be maintained.
On the other hand, since the acoustic lens is formed of a material containing fluorine resin
particles in the base material, a material in which the characteristics of the acoustic lens such as
acoustic characteristics and chemical resistance characteristics are secured is used as the
substrate For example, the influence on the characteristics of the acoustic lens can be
suppressed.
[0017]
It is the schematic which shows the external appearance of the ultrasound image display
apparatus which concerns on this invention.
It is a partially expanded schematic sectional view of the ultrasound probe in the ultrasound
image display apparatus shown in FIG.
It is a partially expanded sectional view of surface vicinity of an acoustic lens, and is a figure
which shows a mode that an acoustic lens wears gradually.
It is a flowchart which shows the manufacturing process of an acoustic lens.
[0018]
Hereinafter, an embodiment of the present invention will be described based on FIGS. 1 to 4.
As shown in FIG. 1, the ultrasonic image display apparatus 1 has an apparatus main body 2 and
an ultrasonic probe 3.
The ultrasonic probe 3 is connected to the device body 2 via a cable 4.
03-05-2019
5
[0019]
An echo signal obtained by transmitting and receiving ultrasonic waves by the ultrasonic probe 3
is input to the apparatus main body 2 through the cable 4. The apparatus body 2 includes a
signal processing unit (not shown) that processes an echo signal, and an ultrasonic image is
created by the signal processing unit and displayed on the display unit 5.
[0020]
The ultrasonic probe 3 has an acoustic lens 6 at its tip as shown in FIG. The acoustic lens 6 is
attached to a probe housing 7 accommodating an ultrasonic transducer (not shown) by an
appropriate attachment structure.
[0021]
The acoustic lens 6 is formed of a material in which the base material B contains particles P of
fluorocarbon resin. The base material B is silicone rubber in this example, and the fluorocarbon
resin is polytetrafluoroethylene (hereinafter referred to as "PTFE") in this example. The particle
size of the particles P of PTFE is several μm to several tens of μm.
[0022]
Here, silicone rubber is a material that satisfies the characteristics required as an acoustic lens
such as acoustic characteristics and chemical resistance characteristics. Even if particles P of
PTFE are added to such silicone rubber in order to improve slipperiness, compared with the case
where an acoustic lens is formed of a single silicone rubber, the characteristics of the acoustic
lens such as acoustic characteristics and chemical resistance characteristics are improved. The
influence can be suppressed. However, although the sliding property is improved as the
compounding amount of the particles P of the PTFE to the base material B made of silicone
rubber increases, the characteristics of the acoustic lens such as acoustic characteristics and
chemical resistance characteristics when formed of silicone rubber alone , The risk of affecting is
increased. On the other hand, although the possibility of affecting the characteristics of the
acoustic lens decreases as the blending amount of the particles P of the PTFE decreases, the slip
03-05-2019
6
property may decrease. Then, it is preferable to make the particle ¦ grains P of PTFE into a
compounding ratio of 1 to 10 weight% with respect to the said base material B. If the content of
the particles P of PTFE is less than 1% by weight, slipperiness for securing good abrasion
resistance may not be obtained, while if it exceeds 10% by weight, the acoustic properties and
the resistance There is a risk of affecting the characteristics of the acoustic lens such as the liquid
chemical characteristics.
[0023]
The blending ratio of the particles P of PTFE is appropriately set in the range of the above
blending ratio in consideration of the slipperiness and the influence on the characteristics of the
acoustic lens. Specifically, when the slipperiness is further improved, the blending ratio of the
PTFE particles is made as large as possible within the range of the blending ratio described
above. On the other hand, in order to minimize the influence on the characteristics of the
acoustic lens, the blending ratio of the particles of PTFE is reduced as much as possible within
the range of the blending ratio described above. In addition, when importance is given to both
the slipperiness and the influence on the characteristics of the acoustic lens, the slipperiness can
be secured to some extent within the range of the mixing ratio described above, and the influence
on the characteristics of the acoustic lens can be suppressed to some extent Set to the blending
ratio.
[0024]
Here, the slipperiness of the acoustic lens 6 will be described based on FIG. As shown in FIG. 3, in
the base material B of the acoustic lens 6, the PTFE particles P are in a diffused state. Further, on
the surface 6 a of the acoustic lens 6, the particles P of PTFE are exposed. Accordingly, the
slipperiness of the surface 6a in a state where the particles P of PTFE, which is better in
slipperiness than the silicone rubber, is exposed as described above is better than in the case
where the silicone rubber does not contain the particles P of PTFE.
[0025]
And, even if the surface 6a of the acoustic lens 6 is worn away from the state shown in FIG. 3 (A)
as shown in FIGS. 3 (B) and 3 (C), the PTFE particles P are in a diffused state Therefore, the
particles of PTFE always become exposed on the surface 6a. In addition, it is also conceivable
03-05-2019
7
that the PTFE powder (not shown) generated by scraping the particles P of PTFE remains on the
surface 6a. Therefore, even if the wear of the surface 6a progresses, the good slidability
continues.
[0026]
However, although the acoustic lens 6 wears in this way, the slipperiness of the acoustic lens 6 is
good, and since this good slipperiness continues, it is compared with the case where the acoustic
lens is formed only with silicone rubber. As a result, the wear resistance is improved and the
good wear resistance is sustained, so that the progress of wear is slow. Therefore, the period of
time until the replacement of the acoustic lens is required due to wear is longer than in the case
of forming the acoustic lens with only silicone rubber.
[0027]
In addition, as the material for forming the acoustic lens 6, silicone rubber is used as the base
material B, and the particles P of PTFE are contained in the base material, so the characteristics
such as acoustic characteristics and chemical resistance characteristics of the silicone rubber It is
possible to suppress the influence on the characteristics such as acoustic characteristics and
chemical resistance characteristics required as an acoustic lens.
[0028]
Furthermore, since PTFE is superior in water repellency to silicone rubber, the water-soluble gel
used when ultrasonic waves are transmitted / received by bringing the ultrasonic probe 3 into
contact with the body surface of the subject is that of the acoustic lens 6. It is suppressed that it
hardens and adheres to a part of surface 6a.
Here, when the water-soluble gel adheres to a part of the surface 6 a of the acoustic lens 6 when
the water-soluble gel adheres, air is caught when the water-soluble gel clumps when the
ultrasonic probe 3 is operated on the body surface. And the surface 6 a of the acoustic lens 6 is
likely to contain a bubble. However, as described above, in the present example, the watersoluble gel is prevented from being solidified and attached to a part of the surface 6 a of the
acoustic lens 6, so compared with the acoustic lens formed of silicone rubber alone, Air bubbles
are less likely to be contained between the acoustic lens 6 and the surface 6 a, and deterioration
of the image quality of the ultrasonic image due to the air bubbles can be prevented.
03-05-2019
8
[0029]
Next, a method of manufacturing the acoustic lens 6 of this example will be described based on
the flowchart of FIG. First, in step S1, the particles P of PTFE are mixed into the silicone rubber to
be the base material B (mixing step). The silicone rubber in this mixing step is liquid.
[0030]
Next, in step S2, the liquid silicone rubber mixed with the PTFE particles P is stirred to diffuse the
PTFE particles P (diffusion step). In this diffusion step, stirring is performed so that the PTFE
particles P are distributed as uniformly as possible in the silicone rubber.
[0031]
Next, in step S3, the liquid silicone rubber in which the PTFE particles P are diffused is cured to
form the acoustic lens 6 (forming step). In this molding process, molding is performed using a
mold or the like.
[0032]
As mentioned above, although the present invention was explained by the above-mentioned
embodiment, it is not limited to this, and it is needless to say that the present invention can be
variously changed in the range which does not change the main point. For example, as the
fluorine resin, one other than PTFE may be used.
[0033]
1 Ultrasonic image display device 3 Ultrasonic probe 6 Acoustic lens B Base material P PTFE
particles
03-05-2019
9