Who are we?

The Ultrasound Medical and Industrial Laboratory (UMIL) works on developing Ultrasound-based techniques for both medical and industrial applications.

Some of the ongoing research in the UMIL includes:

  • Ultrasonic focused beams for tissue characterization and therapy.
  • Transcranial propagation of ultrasound.
  • Magneto-Motive Ultrasound and photoacoustic Imaging.
  • Ultrasonic technology applied to odontology.
  • Ultrasound industrial applications.

The UMIL is located in the Ciutat Politècnica de la Innovació at the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV) and is part of the Instituto de Instrumentación para Imagen Molecular (i3M). If you have any additional inquiries, or if you would be interested in collaborating with our laboratory, please feel free to contact us.

Team members

Francisco Camarena, PhD. Group leader

PhD in Physics by Universitat de València. Permanent researcher at i3M and associate professor at department of Applied Physics at UPV. Head of the UMIL. Director of the Unidad Científica de Innovación Empresarial at i3M, funded by the Agència Valenciana de la Innovacio. Director of the IVIO Chair, dedicated to the promotion, research and transfer of scientific and technological knowledge in the field of odontology.

Email: fracafe@fis.upv.es


José M Benlloch, PhD. I3M director
Research Professor at Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Valencia (Spain). PhD in Fundamental Physics. He worked at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Chicago, EEUU and CERN (Geneva, Switzerland) on DELPHI collaboration. He also was part of the CDF collaboration who in 1995 discover the quark top elemental particle. He worked as staff member at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1991-1996). In 2010 he founded and he currently is the director of the Instituto de Instrumentación para Imagen Molecular (I3M).

Email: benlloch@i3m.upv.es


Noé Jiménez, PhD. Post-doc researcher

BSc in Telecommunication, MSc in Acoustics and PhD in “nonlinear acoustic waves in complex media” by the Universitat Politècnica de València in 2015. In 2014 I worked for the European Space Agency for noise control at launch pad using periodic structures. In 2015 I joined the French CNRS (UMR6613) for a post-doctoral position to research on acoustic metamaterials. I have been visiting researcher at Columbia University (NY, USA) and at the University of Salford (Manchester, UK). Currently I’m post-doctoral researcher at i3M. My research interest concerns from fundamental research in waves in complex and structured media to biomedical ultrasound applications.

Email: nojigon@i3m.upv.es
Personal web:
http://nojigon.webs.upv.es


Alejandro Cebrecos, PhD. Post-doc researcher

I finished my undergraduate studies in 2011 (BSc in Telecommunication, Sound and Image, MSc in Acoustics) and developed my PhD in Phononic Crystals and acoustic metamaterials at Universitat Politècnica de València, awarded in 2015. Thereafter I joined the French CNRS Laboratoire d’Acoustique de l’Université du Mans for a 3-year postdoc. I was visiting scholar at the University of Colorado at Boulder during 9 months in 2014. Nowadays I am devoted to the development of Magneto-Motive Ultrasound and Photoacoustic Tomography systems for biomedical imaging.

Email: alcebrui@i3m.upv.es
Google Scholar


Josep Rodriguez-Sendra, MSc. PhD student
BSc in Telecomunication (2014) and MSc in Acoustics (2015) by the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV). In 2016 I enrolled the team Ultrasound Medical and Industrial Laboratory (UMIL) at I3M to research on ultrasonic technology applied to odontology, funded by the IVIO-UPV Chair. Since 2017 I’m PhD student at i3M, focused on ultrasonic monitoring of the guided-bone regeneration processes for oral implantology.

Email: jorodsen@upv.es


Sergio Jiménez Gambín, MSc. PhD student
BSc in Telecommunication at the University of Alicante in 2015. Under a research internship, I have worked on the detection of accelerated corrosion in concrete using non-linear based-ultrasound techniques. In 2016, I received a MSc in Acoustic engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. Since 2017, I’m a PhD student at i3M working on focused ultrasound modelling and hologram generation for therapeutic transcranial ultrasound, funded by an FPI grant of the Generalitat Valenciana.

Email: serjigam@upv.es


Andreu Descals Oller, MSc. Research technician

I did my undergraduate studies at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, where I also got a master’s degree in Industrial Engineering. I’m currently involved in the research and technical support at the Ultrasound Medical and Industrial Laboratory (UMIL), with special focus on hybrid imaging techniques and, in particular, on photoacoustic imaging. 

Email: andesol@i3m.upv.es


Maria Cristina Dejoz Diez, BSc. PhD candidate

Following my desire to know what laws govern the life sciences, I decided to study Biomedical Engineering at the Polytechnic University of Valencia. I was granted a collaboration scholarship at the Ultrasound Medical and Industrial Laboratory (UMIL) at I3M. There, I am working on the transcranial ultrasound line, in particular on opening of the blood brain barrier (BBB) using focused ultrasound.

Email: madedie3@etsii.upv.es


Rafael Tarazona, MSc. Research staff
I have a bachelor’s degree in Technical Industrial Engineering specialized on industrial electronics, and a Master’s Degree in Electronic Systems Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. I have been working as an Automation engineer for 7 years in Metallurgical industry. Currently I’m involved in the research and technical support at the Ultrasound Medical and Industrial Laboratory of the i3M.

Email: rtrzn@gmail.com


Andrei Cristian Marin, BSc.PhD candidate
I received a degree in Physics at the University of Valencia (UV), and currently I study a master’s degree in Advanced Physics: Nuclear Physics and Particle. I have a background in quantum mechanics and nuclear physics. The I3M has given me the opportunity to enhance my knowledge of medical ultrasonic physics and to gain a deeper understanding of medical physics with ultrasounds experiments. I am working on focused ultrasound modelling and ultrasound elastography.

Email: ancrism2@alumni.uv.es


Paula Marín Tejadillos, BSc. Internship
I‘m currently studying Biomedical Engineering degree at the Polythechnic University of Valencia (UPV). My background is based on engineering and medicine, and I have had the opportunity to put it into practice thanks to a collaboration grant that has allowed me to join the UMIL team at i3M and collaborate with them in the line of bone characterization with ultrasound applied to odontology field.

Email: paumate@etsii.upv.es

Research Lines

Lines

  • Transcranial propagation of therapeutic ultrasound
  • Hybrid ultrasonic imaging techniques
  • Ultrasonic technology applied to odontology
  • Therapeutic ultrasonic beams
  • Industrial ultrasound applications

Transcranial propagation of therapeutic ultrasound

At the UMIL of the I3M we develop focused transcranial ultrasound devices and protocols for the treatment of neurological disorders.

Holograms and metasurfaces for transcranial focusing

In this research line we develop passive focusing methods based on acoustic holograms to produce focused beams inside the central nervous system (CNS). In particular, we are able to produce beams whose spatial distribution fits a target CNS structure of arbitrary shape. In this way, using 3D-printed holographic lenses at UMIL we are developing low-cost focusing systems that will help to disseminate incoming therapeutic ultrasound techniques as neuromodulation or blood-brain barrier opening to treat neurological disorders. 

Transcranial ultrasound for blood-brain barrier opening

The blood-brain barrier (BBB) restricts the diffusion of microscopic objects, e.g., protecting the brain from infections. However, it also prevents the passage of most therapeutic drugs. BBB disruption can be achieved by using transcranial focused ultrasound and microbubble injection in an effective, non-invasive, transient, localized and safe manner. Thus, the BBB opening enables drug delivering to specific areas of the brain, which is mandatory in research of treatments for neurological disorders as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases. At the UMIL we develop simulations and experiments to define a protocol for the transcranial targeting of the hippocampus of an adult human by using a single-element focused transducer.

Hybrid ultrasonic imaging techniques

At the UMIL of the I3M we develop hybrid ultrasound imaging techniques, combining ultrasound with additional physical mechanisms to go a step beyond standard US imaging techniques.

Magneto-Motive ultrasound imaging

Magneto-Motive ultrasound imaging detects the presence of superparamagnetic nanoparticles through their mechanical responses to an external transient magnetic excitation. Due to their weak diamagnetic properties, normal tissue constituents do not respond to the magnetic field. However, when tissue is labeled with magnetic nanoparticles, it tends to move towards areas of lower magnetic potential. The magnetically-induced displacement within nanoparticles and the tissue associated with them is detectable by ultrasound imaging. At UMIL we are already developing a first prototype for magnetic nanoparticle detection.

Photoacoustic imaging techniques

When an ultrashort and intense laser illuminates light absorbing materials, a part of the absorbed energy produces locally ultrasonic pulses due to thermoelastic effect. These signals are detected and can be used to reconstruct an image that take into account the absorbance of the tissue. In this way, as the absorbance spectrum varies between tissues, it enables the ultrasonic imaging at molecular level.

(Left): Experimental setup of the laser diode-based Photoacoustic Imaging system developed at the UMIL research group, featuring a laser diode, a phased array system and a 3D motorized axis. (Right). Experimental MMUS system including a B-scan of a gelatin phantom with a metallic sphere embedded in it (see the metallic sphere in the middle of the B-scan image).

Ultrasonic elastography

Ultrasonic elastography is a well-established diagnostic tool for pathologies such as liver fibrosis. At the UMIL we are developing novel elastographic techniques using acoustic radiation force and hybrid techniques.

Ultrasonic technology applied to odontology

In collaboration with the Valencian Institute of Dental Research (IVIO), within the framework of IVIO-UPVChair, we develop new ultrasonic techniques for monitoring, diagnosis and treatment in the field of dentistry.

Monitoring guided-bone regeneration during implantation

In particular, we develop ultrasonic characterization methods for guided bone regeneration during implantation in odontology. We aim to characterize the complete regeneration process using ultrasound to guide the treatment, optimize implantation and avoid or detect complications. The use of ultrasound is desirable as it is low cost and non-ionizing radiation, thus, it can be employed to monitor long healing treatments without the risks associated to X-Ray Computed Tomography imaging techniques.

Ultrasonic characterization of teeth and synthetic bone-grafts

Moreover, ongoing research is developed at UMIL to quantitatively characterize the mechanical properties of teeth, e.g., demineralization, and synthetic bone-graft materials using ultrasonic techniques.


Therapeutic ultrasonic beams

Focused ultrasound beams are commonly used for imaging and therapy.  At the UMIL of the I3M we study the propagation of focused ultrasonic beams travelling through biological tissues, from small amplitudes to high intensity (nonlinear) ultrasound.

Simulation methods for linear and nonlinear wave propagation

We develop computational methods to model nonlinear acoustic propagation of focused ultrasound beams, as well their associated acoustic radiation forces and thermal patterns. The purpose of this research line is to understand the mechanisms that affect the ultrasonic propagation in a realistic environment shedding light to develop new imaging and therapy techniques.

Industrial applications of ultrasound

Beyond the medical use of ultrasound industrial applications are developed at UMIL, mostly under agreement and contracts with private companies.

Ultrasonic applications for the food industry (AVI)

Funded by the “Agència Valenciana de la Innovació” we develop industrial applications of ultrasound for food texture and quality characterization through the Unitat Científica d’Innovació Empresarial of the UPV at i3M, which is currently dedicated to convert the knowledge of the whole research institute into innovations usable by the companies, as well as to facilitate its transfer to through license concessions, business creation and collaboration in R&D+i projects with companies. 

Transducers for industrial applications

Our group has a long experience in developing custom ultrasonic sensors and actuators for specific industrial applications. We are open to design, optimize and fabricate transducers on request for industrial applications.

Relevant Publications

Peer-reviewed publications:

Holograms in the brain: focusing arbitrary ultrasonic fields through the skull using holographic phase platesJiménez-Gambín, N. Jiménez, J.M. Benlloch, F. Camarena. https://arxiv.org/abs/1902.06716 (2019)

Monitoring the setting of calcium sulphate bone-graft substitute using ultrasonic backscattering. Josep Rodriguez-Sendra, Noe Jimenez, Ruben Pico, Joan Faus, Francisco Camarena. https://arxiv.org/abs/1903.11019 (2019).

Modelling ceramics and piezoelectric transducers vibrating in thickness mode using transfer matrices. Noé Jiménez, Francisco Camarena. Modelling in Science Education and Learning Volume 12 (1), (2019).

Sharp acoustic vortex focusing by Fresnel-spiral zone plates. Noe Jimenez, Vicente Romero; Luis M. García Raffi; Francisco Camarena; Kestutis Staliunas. Applied Physics Letters. pp. 204101(1)-204101(5) (2018).

Design and performance of a metal-shielded piezoelectric sensorÁ. Sáenz de Inestrillas, F. Camarena, M. Bou-Cabo, J. Barreiro, A. Reig. Sensors, 17(6), 1284 (2017).

Dynamic nonlinear focal shift in amplitude modulated moderately focused acoustic beams. Jimenez, F. Camarena, N. González-Salido, Ultrasonics 1 (75) 106-114 (2016).

Time-Domain Simulation of Ultrasound Propagation in a Tissue-Like Medium Based on the Resolution of the Nonlinear Acoustic Constitutive RelationsJimenez, F. Camarena, J. Redondo, V. Sánchez, E. Konofagou. Acta acustica united with Acustica (12) 876–892 (2016).

Radiation-force-based estimation of acoustic attenuation using harmonic motion imaging (HMI) in phantoms and in vitro livers before and after HIFU ablationJiangang, G. H. Hou, F. Marquet, Y. Han, F. Camarena, E. KonofagouPhysics in Medicine and Biology (6) 7499–7512 (2015). 

Nonlinear focal shift beyond the geometrical focus in moderately focused acoustic beams. Camarena, S. Adrián-Martínez, N. Jimenez, V. SánchezJournal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2 (137), 1463–1472 (2013).

Explicit finite-difference time-domain scheme for the simulation of 1-3 piezoelectric effect in axisymmetrical configurationsFerri, F. Camarena, J. Redondo, R. Picó, M. R. Avis. Wave Motion, 6 (49), 569 – 584 (2012).

Conference proceedings:

A new transport and preservation medical device for liver transplantation. Jiménez, F. Camarena, M.E. Cornide, N. Jiménez, J. Gulfo, C. Peralta. 44º Congreso Anual de la Asociación Española para el Estudio del Hígado (AEEH) (2019).

Transport and preservation of liver in a revolutionary medical device. Jiménez, F. Camarena, M.E. Cornide, N. Jiménez, J. Gulfo, C. Peralta. 27th International Congress of the Transplantation Society (TTS 2018).

Vórtices acústicos altamente focalizados mediante espirales de Fresnel. Jiménez, V. Romero, LM Garcia-Raffi, F. Camarena, K. Staliunas49º Congreso Español de Acústica. Tecniacústica 2018.

Magnetismo y acústica: caracterización viscoelástica mediante sistemas magnético-ultrasónicos. Company, N. Jiménez, JM Benlloch, F. Camarena. 49º Congreso Español de Acústica. Tecniacústica 2018.

Efectos del método de obtención de las propiedades acústicas de cráneo humano en la propagación focalizada de ultrasonidos. Jiménez-Gambín, N. Jiménez, F. Camarena. 49º Congreso Español de Acústica. Tecniacústica 2018.

Monitoring the setting of bone cements using ultrasonic backscattering. Rodríguez-Sendra, N. Jiménez, R. Picó, J. Faus, F. Camarena. 49º Congreso Español de Acústica. Tecniacústica 2018.

Strongly focused vortex beams by using flat Fresnel-spiral lenses. Jiménez, V. Romero, L.M. Garcia-Raffi, F. Camarena, K. Staliunas. 176th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (2018).

Estudio de la mejora de sensibilidad de un sensor piezoeléctrico encapsulado utilizando resonadores acústicos y bocinas. Sáenz de Inestrillas, J.M. Barreiro, J. Rodríguez, F. Camarena. 48º  Congreso Español de Acústica Tecniacústica. A Coruña, Spain (2017).

Caracterización de medios viscoelásticos mediante la técnica Magneto-Motive Ultrasound. Company, S. Jiménez-Gambín, J.M. Benlloch, F. Camarena. 48º  Congreso Español de Acústica Tecniacústica. A Coruña, Spain (2017).

Estudio del BUA y del SOS en soluciones acuosas para aplicaciones odontológicas. J.Rodríguez, A. Ladino, J. Faus, R. Picó, A. Sáenz de Inestrillas, F. Camarena. 48º  Congreso Español de Acústica Tecniacústica. A Coruña, Spain (2017).

Estudio numérico del protocolo de propagación transcraneal de ultrasonidos para la apertura de la barrera hematoencefálica en el hipocampo de humano. Jiménez-Gambín, N. Jiménez, M. Company, F. Camarena. 48º  Congreso Español de Acústica Tecniacústica. A Coruña, Spain (2017).

Fuerza de radiación en haces focalizados de ultrasonidos de amplitud modulada barrera hematoencefálica en el hipocampo de humano. N. Jiménez, F. Camarena, N. González-Salido, S. Jiménez-Gambín. 48º  Congreso Español de Acústica Tecniacústica. A Coruña, Spain (2017).

Desarrollo de un sistema ultrasónico de potencia para aplicaciones médicas en animales pequeños. Bailén, F. Camarena, F. Camarena, S. Jiménez-Gambín, M. Company. 48º  Congreso Español de Acústica Tecniacústica. A Coruña, Spain (2017).

Study of aberrations at the focus of an ultrasonic beam due to the propagation across different areas of the skull. Jiménez-Gambín, N. Jimenez, W. Shih-Ying Wu, E. Konofagou, F. Camarena. 5th International Symposium on Focused Ultrasound. North Bethesda, USA (2016). Journal of Therapeutic Ultrasound 2016 4(Suppl 1):76

PhD thesis:

Jiménez, Nonlinear Acoustic Waves in Complex Media, Universitat Politècnica València, June 2015.

Ongoing PhD thesis:

  1. Jiménez-Gambín, Propagación transcraneal de ultrasonidos para la apertura de la barrera hematoencefálica. Universitat Politècnica València.
  2. Rodríguez-Sendra, Monitorización ultrasónica del proceso de regeneración ósea guiada en implantología oralUniversitat Politècnica València.

 

Finantial Support

This laboratory is co-financed by the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), Generalitat Valenciana and Agència Valenciana de la Innovació (AVI) 

Open Positions

We offer PhD and Post-Doc positions, plus summer and Masters projects for undergraduates.

Undergraduate and Masters projects

Please send a CV to fracafe@fis.upv.es. Please also indicate the period over which you would like to undertake the project.

PhD positions

Excellent students with a keen interest in ultrasonic, acoustics and/or medical physics are encouraged to apply at any time. Please send a Curriculum Vitae to fracafe@fis.upv.esif interested. This should include information about prior education, previous research which you have performed.

PostDoc positions

We welcome applications from motivated and capable researchers with a strong background in ultrasound. Please send a Curriculum Vitae to fracafe@fis.upv.esif interested. This should include information about prior education, previous research which you have performed, and the name and contact addresses of two referees.

Valued research experience – PhD and PostDoc

Knowledge in the following areas will be highly valued:

  • Background in medical imaging (ultrasound, MRI, PET, CT, etc), NDT and acoustics.
  • Design and characterization of ultrasonic and acoustic systems.
  • Numerical simulation of acoustic, ultrasonic or elastic waves.
  • Multiphysics numerical simulations using COMSOL/Ansys.
  • Programming skills for ultrasound imaging and beamforming, in particular using VERASONICS systems.
  • Programming Graphical User Interfaces and software for instrumentation control using LabVIEW/Matlab.
  • CAD design using AutoCAD/SolidWorks.
  • Laser instrumentation and experiments.
  • Digital acquisition systems, programming for experimental control.
  • Digital/Analog electronics, design of circuits.