Using Geological Mapping to Sketch the Human Body

Jeroen Tromp, PhD, Associate Director of the Princeton Institute for Computational Science and Engineering, and Professor of Geosciences and Applied and Computational Mathematics at Princeton University, has been leading a team of scientists in research that translates modern geological mapping technology to the imaging of the human body. The same computational algorithms Prof. Tromp’s team pioneered in the measurement of seismic waves are being applied to ultrasonic waves used in medical imaging.

The algorithms compare wave models with actual wave measurement data and extrapolates a much-improved 3D model compared with current standards. This technique offers much more information than a standard ultrasound image, but without the additional cost and burden of MRI scans.

Click here to read more about this research on Princeton Invention.

This new technology transforms traditional ultrasound images into three-dimensional images that could improve the diagnosis of tumors, osteoporosis and other disorders. It combines recent advances in computational power with techniques originally developed for the study of earthquakes and subterranean structures.

Now they are applying the same techniques to ultrasonic waves, which share many of the same characteristics. Today’s ultrasound imaging devices work by sending sound waves through the body and constructing an image from the waves that bounce off internal structures.
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