A technology for generating ultrasound images without physical contact with the subject uses photoacoustic waves, scanning mirrors, and laser vibrometry.

Ultrasound imaging technology has long been a fundamental diagnostic tool in the field of medical imaging, known for its noninvasive nature and versatility. However, traditional ultrasound methods that require physical contact with the patient via a transducer could result in patient discomfort or potential cross-contamination risk. Current approaches to ultrasound imaging also face limitations in imaging depth and resolution. The quality of the image obtained can also be compromised by patient movement or sub-optimal probe positioning. Because a trained technician is needed to operate the ultrasound probe, imaging results may vary, depending on the skill and experience of the operator.

Technology Description

This technology is an advanced noncontact ultrasound imaging system, utilizing photoacoustic sources, scanning mirrors, and laser vibrometers. An excitation source creates an acoustic disturbance that is directed via a scanning mirror into a patient. This action stimulates photoacoustic waves that traverse across the patient and provoke a resultant wave that scans internal structures. The generated waves backscatter, causing surface vibrations which are picked up by a laser vibrometer, ultimately enabling the manifestation of ultrasound images of the internal structures. The key differentiation of this technology comes from its noncontact nature, allowing ultrasound images to be obtained without the need for physical contact with the subject. This differentiating element offers improved patient comfort and reduces the potential for cross-contamination. Additionally, the combination of photoacoustic wave generation and laser vibrometry detection permits greater imaging depth and resolution, making this technology potentially more effective than traditional ultrasound techniques.


  • Enhances patient comfort because of the noncontact nature of the technology
  • Minimizes risk of cross-contamination
  • Improves imaging depth and resolution
  • Reduces dependency on operator's skill and experience
  • Allows for versatile application across different fields

Potential Use Cases

  • Noninvasive diagnostic imaging in medical settings
  • Monitoring of internal conditions for patients with mobility issues
  • Veterinary diagnostics for evaluation of internal structures in animals
  • Prenatal scanning and imaging in obstetrics
  • Nondestructive testing and evaluation in industrial settings