Over the past decade, numerous minimally invasive thermal procedures have been investigated to treat benign prostate hyperplasia and prostate cancer. Of these methods, ultrasound has shown considerable promise due to its ability to produce more precise and deeper thermal foci. In this study, a linear, transrectal ultrasound phased array capable of ablating large tissue volumes was fabricated and evaluated. The device was designed to be compatible for use with MRI guidance and thermometry. The intracavitary applicator increases treatable tissue volume by using an ultrasonic motor to provide a mechanical rotation angle of up to 100 degrees to a 62-element 1D ultrasound array. An aperiodic array geometry was used to reduce grating lobes. In addition, a specially designed Kapton interconnect was used to reduce cable crosstalk and hence also improve the acoustic efficiency of the array. MRI-guided in vivo and ex vivo experiments were performed to verify the array's large-volume ablative capabilities. Ex vivo bovine experiments were performed to assess the focusing range of the applicator. The array generated foci in a 3 cm (2 to 5 cm from the array surface along the axis normal to the array) by 5.5 cm (along the long axis of the array) by 6 cm (along the transverse axis of the array at a depth of 4 cm) volume. In vivo rabbit thigh experiments were performed to evaluate the lesion producing capabilities in perfused tissue. The array generated 3 cm x 2 cm x 2 cm lesions with 8 to 12 half-minute sonications equally spaced in the volume. The results indicate that transrectal ultrasound coagulation of the whole prostate is feasible with the developed device.
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