A hybrid FDTD-Rayleigh integral computational method for the simulation of the ultrasound measurement of proximal femur

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The development of novel quantitative ultrasound (QUS) techniques to measure the hip is critically dependent on the possibility to simulate the ultrasound propagation. One specificity of hip QUS is that ultrasounds propagate through a large thickness of soft tissue, which can be modeled by a homogeneous fluid in a first approach. Finite difference time domain (FDTD) algorithms have been widely used to simulate QUS measurements but they are not adapted to simulate ultrasonic propagation over long distances in homogeneous media. In this paper, an hybrid numerical method is presented to simulate hip QUS measurements. A two-dimensional FDTD simulation in the vicinity of the bone is coupled to the semi-analytic calculation of the Rayleigh integral to compute the wave propagation between the probe and the bone. The method is used to simulate a setup dedicated to the measurement of circumferential guided waves in the cortical compartment of the femoral neck. The proposed approach is validated by comparison with a full FDTD simulation and with an experiment on a bone phantom. For a realistic QUS configuration, the computation time is estimated to be sixty times less with the hybrid method than with a full FDTD approach.

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