Ultrasound Imaging – BME 494/594


 Course Information

  • Course Title: Ultrasound Imaging, BME 494
  • Credits: 3
  • Prerequisites: ESE 318, 319, 351
  • Class web page: Blackboard

Instructor Information

  • Name:  Hong Chen, Ph.D.
  • Title: Assistant Professor
  • Office location: Brauer 2004
  • Email:  hongchen@wustl.edu
  • On-line: Discussion Board on Blackboard.

Course Overview

Course format: We will incorporate active learning into this course. Your participation in class activities is required.

 Course goals:

  • Expose students to fundamental physical principles of ultrasound, ultrasound imaging, and ultrasound therapy. Introduce emerging ultrasound technologies in industry and clinic.
  • Understand what is ultrasound
  • Describe how diagnostic ultrasound imaging system works
  • Differentiate different ultrasound imaging modalities
  • Understand therapeutic ultrasound
  • Distinguish different therapeutic applications of ultrasound
  • Apply the learned knowledge to analyze real-world problems

Learning goals:

  • Understand engineering concepts and methods
  • Understand how engineering techniques are used to solve real-world problems
  • Learn how to learn engineering principles effectively
  • Gain the ability to engage in creative problem-solving

Required Textbook:

  • Diagnostic Ultrasound Imaging: Inside Out, Second Edition (Biomedical Engineering) by Thomas Szabo
  • Lecture notes and lecture material will be available on the Blackboard.

Suggested Textbook:

  • Ultrasonic Bioinstrumentation, Douglas A. Christensen, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 1988
  • Fundamentals of Physical Acoustics, David T. Blackstock, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2000
  • Foundations of Biomedical Ultrasound, Richard S. C. Cobbold, Oxford University Press, 2006


The professor will use a combination of prepared PowerPoint slides as well as the use of the blackboard. The lectures will be filled with active learning activities. Slides will be available on the WU Blackboard. There are three modules of this class: I) Ultrasound basics; II) Ultrasound imaging; and III) Ultrasound therapy.

Module 1: Ultrasound basics

  • Lecture 1: Course overview and introduction of ultrasound
  • Lecture 2: Acoustic wave propagation
  • Lecture 3: Ultrasound transducers and arrays
  • Lecture 4: Ultrasonic exposimetry and acoustic measurements

Module 2: Ultrasound imaging

  • Lecture 5: Beamforming
  • Lecture 6: Imaging systems and applications
  • Lecture 7: Doppler ultrasound
  • Lecture 8: Emerging imaging technologies and trends in industry

Module 3: Ultrasound therapy

  • Lecture 9:  Ultrasound–induced bioeffects
  • Lecture 10: High-intensity focused ultrasound
  • Lecture 11: Ultrasound contrast agents for drug delivery
  • Lecture 12: Ultrasound thermal controlled drug release
  • Lecture 13: Emerging therapeutic technologies and trends in industry
  • Lecture 14: Image-guided ultrasound therapy

Final project: Students need to not only understand knowledge but also know how to apply the knowledge to analyze real-world problems. To give students opportunity to apply the knowledge learned from this course to analyze real-world problems, critically evaluate the current solutions, and propose innovative ideas for new solutions, in this project you will pick a current area of medical ultrasound research and development and propose a new imaging/therapy method or new application of an existing method. To do this you will review a specific area and identify a key paper published within the last 5 years. You will then propose a research project with two Specific Aims that will take two graduate students 2 years to complete.