Multi-frequency axial transmission bone ultrasonometer

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Abstract

The last decade has seen a surge in the development of axial transmission QUS (Quantitative UltraSound) technologies for the assessment of long bones using various modes of acoustic waves. The condition of cortical bones and the development of osteoporosis are determined by numerous mechanical, micro-structural, and geometrical or macro-structural bone properties like hardness, porosity and cortical thickness. Such complex manifestations of osteoporosis require the evaluation of multiple parameters with different sensitivities to the various properties of bone that are affected by the disease. This objective may be achieved by using a multi-frequency ultrasonic examination The ratio of the acoustic wavelength to the cortical thickness can be changed by varying the frequency of the ultrasonic pulse propagating through the long bone that results in the change in composition of the induced wave comprised of a set of numerous modes of guided, longitudinal, and surface acoustic waves. The multi-frequency axial transmission QUS method developed at Artann Laboratories (Trenton, NJ) is implemented in the Bone Ultrasonic Scanner (BUSS). In the current version of the BUSS, a train of ultrasonic pulses with 60, 100, 400, 800, and 1200 kHz frequencies is used. The developed technology was tested on a variety of bone phantoms simulating normal, osteopenic, and osteoporotic bones. The results of this study confirm the feasibility of the multi-frequency approach for the assessment of the processes leading to osteoporosis.

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