NMPCE scientists to develop educational videos for breast imaging sonographers and radiologists

Two NMPCE scientists, Dr Jae Tong and Dr Barry Ward, have been awarded a bursary by the National Breast Imaging Academy to develop a short series of educational videos for sonographers and radiologists involved in ultrasound imaging of the breast.

Over the last few years, a new generation of ultrasound scanners with a range of exciting new features has been introduced onto the market. These scanners have features such as the speed of sound (SoS) control, which differ from older scanners (which traditionally assume a constant SoS of 1540 m/s)1. As a consequence, the impact and artefacts associated with these new features have not been well documented and not explicitly explained by manufacturers.

This project will demonstrate the impact and artefacts that come with these features, in order to educate sonographers and radiographers in the efficient use of them. The project will use several tissue-mimicking phantoms and open-topped test objects (OTTO)2 with a range of sound speeds, to disclose the effect in breast imaging. It will document the results in several short videos and show methods of optimizing scanner settings. The video can be used as a self-training tool, in line with the physicists’ quality assurance support, by sonographers and radiologists for to allow them to familiarise themselves with the features and helping them in their weekly quality assurance practice.

The National Breast Imaging Academy is run in collaboration with Health Education England and is
hosted by Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust.


  1. C. Hill, J.C. Bamber and G.R. ter Haar, Physics Principles of Medical Ultrasonics, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, England 2004.
  2. J. Tong, M.J.W. Povey , X. Zou, B. Ward and C.P. Oates, Speed of sound and density of ethanol-water mixture across the temperature range 10 to 50 degrees Celsius, Journal of Physics: Conference Series (IOP Electric Journals), Advanced Metrology for Ultrasound in Medicine 2010: 279 012001.