Yihan Zhang, Prashant Muthuraman, Victoria Andino-Pavlovsky, Ilke Uguz, Jeffrey Elloian & Kenneth L. Shepard, “Augmented ultrasonography with implanted CMOS electronic motes,” Nature Communications volume 13, Article number: 3521 (2022)

Modern clinical practice benefits significantly from imaging technologies and much effort is directed toward making this imaging more informative through the addition of contrast agents or reporters. Here, we report the design of a battery-less integrated circuit mote acting as an electronic reporter during medical ultrasound imaging. When implanted within the field-of-view of a brightness-mode (B-mode) ultrasound imager, this mote transmits information from its location through backscattered acoustic energy which is captured within the ultrasound image itself. We prototype and characterize the operation of such motes in vitro and in vivo. Performing with a static power consumption of less than 57 pW, the motes operate at duty cycles for receiving acoustic energy as low as 50 ppm. Motes within the same field-of-view during imaging have demonstrated signal-to-noise ratios of more than 19.1 dB at depths of up to 40 mm in lossy phantom. Physiological information acquired through such motes, which is beyond what is measurable with endogenous ultrasound backscatter and which is biogeographically located within an image, has the potential to provide an augmented ultrasonography.”