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1. WO2020135945 - SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR REAL-TIME LOCALIZATION

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. System for real-time localization of a millimetric or submillimetric object (11), such as a microrobot, in a viscoelastic medium (4), in particular in an organ of a subject such as a brain, a liver or a pancreas, said system comprising:

- at least one bubble (10) configured to be attached to said object (11), the or each bubble (10) comprising a hermetic envelope filled with a gas;

- at least one ultrasound transducer (12) configured to emit initial ultrasound signals and to detect deflected ultrasound signals deflected at the surface of the bubble(s) (10);

- a processing unit (13) in communication with the ultrasound transducer (12) and configured to generate localization data of the object (11) from localization data of the bubble(s) (10) based on the deflected ultrasound signals detected by the ultrasound transducer (12).

2. System according to claim 1, wherein the or each ultrasound transducer (12) is configured to emit initial ultrasound signals at a frequency of the order of a resonance frequency of the bubble (10).

3. System according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising at least three ultrasound transducers (12) configured to emit initial ultrasound signals and to detect deflected ultrasound signals deflected at the surface of the bubble(s) (10).

4. System according to claim 3, wherein the processing unit (13) comprises a trilateration module (15) configured to determine a spatial position and/or orientation of the object (11) from a distance between each ultrasound transducer

(12) and the bubble(s) (10).

5. System according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the processing unit

(13) is configured to communicate with the ultrasound transducers (12) and to cause the ultrasound transducers (12) to emit initial ultrasound signals in a sequential manner.

6. System according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the or each bubble (10) has a diameter comprised between 20 pm and 1 mm.

7. System according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the or each bubble (10) is configured to be structurally anchored on the object (11), or to be assembled with the object (11) by means of at least one fastening element such as an adhesive layer.

8. System according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein each ultrasound transducer (12) is configured to be fixed on the outside of the skull (6) of a subject.

9. System according to any one of claims 1 to 7, wherein each ultrasound transducer is configured to be positioned in a hole (61) made in the outer layers of the skull (6) of a subject.

10. System according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising at least two distinct bubbles (10) configured to be attached to the object (11).

11. System according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising three bubbles (10) configured to be distributed on the object (11) without being aligned, preferably arranged at 90° relative to one another on the object (11).

12. System according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising a registration module (16) configured to match the coordinates of each point of the localization data generated by the processing unit (13) with the coordinates of corresponding images on a reference image obtained with a medical imaging system (17), using image registration algorithms.

13. System according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the processing unit (13) is configured to use super-resolution processing to localize an object (11) smaller than the wavelength of the emitted initial ultrasound signals.

14. System according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the envelope of the bubble is made of a polymer.

15. Method for real-time localization of a millimetric or submillimetric object (11), such as a microrobot, in a viscoelastic medium (4), in particular in an organ of a subject such as a brain, a liver or a pancreas, wherein at least one bubble (10) is configured to be attached to said object (11), the or each bubble (10) comprising a hermetic envelope filled with a gas, the method comprising steps of:

- by means of least one ultrasound transducer (12), producing emitted initial ultrasound signals at a given frequency and detecting deflected ultrasound signals deflected at the surface of the bubble(s) (10);

- generating localization data of the object (11) from localization data of the bubble(s) (10) based on the deflected ultrasound signals detected by the or each ultrasound transducer (12).

16. Method according to claim 15, the method using at least three ultrasound transducers (12) and comprising steps of:

- producing emitted initial ultrasound pulses by means of the at least three ultrasound transducers (12) in a sequential manner and detecting deflected ultrasound signals deflected at the surface of the bubble(s) (10) by means of the at least three ultrasound transducers (12);

- generating localization data of the object (11) from localization data of the bubble(s) (10) based on the deflected ultrasound signals detected by the at least three ultrasound transducers (12).