Dr. Richard Colchester's research process and more art by Priya Odedra & Dr. Richard Colchester

Dr. Richard Colchester's research process, 2021

Image 1 (upper left): M-mode all-optical ultrasound video acquired in the aorta of a pig
An ultrasound pulse is sent out from the device and is reflected back off surfaces and interfaces between different types of tissue. The resulting brightness profile for each pulse sent out is aligned over time, providing information about how things are moving. This data was acquired using a highly miniaturised device, less than 1 mm in diameter but over 1 metre long. The signal at around 5 mm in the video corresponds to the wall of the aorta, the largest artery leaving the heart, of a live pig. This data is crucial to developing these devices for uses in minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Image 2 (upper right): A simple MATLAB script to convert the ultrasound video to an audio file.
The acquired ultrasound image was converted into an audible sound for the interactive experience. To do this the maximum signal strength was extracted from each ultrasound A-line. The signal was cleaned up a little and the value was used to modulate the exported audio signal.

Image 3 (bottom): The maximum echo intensity
The maximum intensity of each ultrasound A-line was extracted to use when creating an audio output file. The signal rises and falls over a short time scale with the heartbeat and over a longer time scale with the breathing.

Audio: The sound of a heart beat.
This sound is derived from an ultrasound video taken inside a pig’s aorta. The intensity of the received ultrasound signal was used to modulate the output sound.

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