Title of project

New Piezoelectric Components in Ultrasound

Presenter Information

Kelsey HeroFollow
Holly JendroFollow

Faculty Advisor

Susan Hummel, Tammi Wiesner, Erick Agrimson, Robert Naughton

Department

Sonography

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New Piezoelectric Components in Ultrasound

Currently, the most common piezoelectric material used in medical ultrasound transducers is PZT, or lead zirconate titanate. In recent years, concern has risen over the use of these lead-based transducers. Not only are there harmful agents released into the environment during the production of these materials, but there is also the issue of safely disposing old or broken lead-based transducers. The aim of this research was to analyze recent studies testing lead-free piezoelectric materials as potential substitutes for PZT. Since much of this research is relatively new, there are many improvements to be made. In the majority of studies on lead-free transducers, researchers created small, non-medical transducers and tested their properties in the lab, rather than forming encased medical transducers and testing their imaging capability on humans or animals. Another drawback to recent studies is the narrow scope of the work being done. Each group of researchers tests a specific type of transducer for specific properties. Some reports have shown properties of lead-free materials to be comparable or superior to lead-based materials. With continued and improved research, there should soon be a variety of lead-free ultrasound transducers available for medical use.