A Real-time Ultrasound Simulator Using Monte-Carlo Path Tracing in Conjunction with Optix Engine

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date



Department of Biomedical Engineering


Monte-Carlo ray tracing, which enables realistic simulation of ultrasound-tissue interactions such as soft shadows and fuzzy reflections, has been used to simulate ultrasound images. The main technical challenge presented with Monte-Carlo ray tracing is its computational efficiency. In this study, we investigated the use of a commercially-available ray-tracing engine (NVIDIA's Optix 6.0), which provides a simple, recursive, and flexible pipeline for accelerating ray tracing algorithms. Our preliminary results show that our ultrasound simulation algorithm accelerated by the Optix engine can achieve a frame of 25 frames/second using an Nvidia RTX 2060 card. Furthermore, we compare ultrasound simulations built on the proposed Monte-Carlo ray-tracing algorithm with a deep-learning generative adversarial network (GANs)-based ultrasound simulator and a physics-based ultrasound simulator (Field II). The proposed ultrasound simulator was able to better visualize small-sized structures while the other two above-mentioned simulators could not. Our future work includes integration of our proposed simulator with a virtual reality platform and expansion to other ultrasound modalities such as elastography and flow imaging.

Publisher's Statement

© 2020 IEEE. Publisher’s version of record: https://doi.org/10.1109/SMC42975.2020.9283057

Publication Title

IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man, and Cybernetics: Systems