2015 Summer Intern: Zack Larrabee


Project: Thermochromic Phantom

Zach2 300Overview and Goal: The calibration methods for focused ultrasound transducers tend to be very precise, but also very expensive and time consuming. Our goal was to drastically decrease calibration time and device cost by using a thermochromic phantom. The thermochromic phantom is a simple calibration device that converts ultrasound energy to heat, and then converts that heat into a visual color change that can be used to determine if the transducer is operating correctly.

Results/Findings/Outcomes: Experimentation found the phantom to be a cost effective, reliable, and fairly accurate method of calibration for ultrasound transducers. While more ing is needed to assure reliability over time, and more simulations are needed to model the phantom mathematically, the results are promising.

“I have had an amazing experience as an intern. I’ve been here for a year now, and I had the opportunity to present a poster at the 2014 Focused Ultrasound Symposium in Bethesda, Maryland, and at the 2015 ISTU in Utrecht, Netherlands. I have been able to use the skills I learned at UVA in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics in a real-world setting.” –on his experience as a FUSF intern

“My internships has reinforced my conviction to pursue an engineering career, but has broadened my horizons from just mechanical engineering to also biomedical engineering.”–on how the internship has affected his career plans

See Zach’s profile from 2014.