Hitachi Healthcare, based in Twinsburg, Ohio, recently introduced the SML44 linear array at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America. Recently receiving FDA premarket notification (510(k)) clearance, the SML44 is the first fully featured commercially available ultrasound probe to employ capacitive micro-machined ultrasound transducers (CMUT) to power its imaging.

This probe’s design enables an ultra-wide bandwidth of 2-22MHz, allowing a single probe to address multiple clinical needs and to adapt to a wide variety of body habitus.

Clinically viable CMUT probes have long been pursued by the imaging industry, says John Waddell, vice president and general manager of ultrasound. “CMUT technology has tremendous potential,” says Waddell, “but it also posed some significant engineering challenges. This is actually our fourth-generation CMUT probe even though previous versions were not widely commercialized. The creative solutions our research and development team devised to overcome obstacles that had stumped other organizations put Hitachi in an enviable position as leader in this emerging field.”