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11 December 2012 Photo-acoustic excitation and detection of guided ultrasonic waves in bone samples covered by a soft coating layer
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Photo-acoustic (PA) excitation was combined with skeletal quantitative ultrasound (QUS) for multi-mode ultrasonic assessment of human long bones. This approach permits tailoring of the ultrasonic excitation and detection so as to efficiently detect the fundamental flexural guided wave (FFGW) through a coating of soft tissue. FFGW is a clinically relevant indicator of cortical thickness. An OPO laser with tunable optical wavelength, was used to excite a photo-acoustic source in the shaft of a porcine femur. Ultrasonic signals were detected by a piezoelectric transducer, scanning along the long axis of the bone, 20-50 mm away from the source. Five femurs were measured without and with a soft coating. The coating was made of an aqueous gelatin-intralipid suspension that optically and acoustically mimicked real soft tissue. An even coating thickness was ensured by using a specific mold. The optical wave length of the source (1250 nm) was tuned to maximize the amplitude of FFGW excitation at 50 kHz frequency. The experimentally determined FFGW phase velocity in the uncoated samples was consistent with that of the fundamental antisymmetric Lamb mode (A0). Using appropriate signal processing, FFGW was also identified in the coated bone samples, this time with a phase velocity consistent with that theoretically predicted for the first mode of a fluid-solid bilayer waveguide (BL1). Our results suggest that photo-acoustic quantitative ultrasound enables assessment of the thickness-sensitive FFGW in bone through a layer of soft tissue. Photo-acoustic characterization of the cortical bone thickness may thus become possible.
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Zuomin Zhao, Petro Moilanen, Pasi Karppinen, Mikko Määttä, Timo Karppinen, Edward Hæggström, Jussi Timonen, and Risto Myllylä "Photo-acoustic excitation and detection of guided ultrasonic waves in bone samples covered by a soft coating layer", Proc. SPIE 8553, Optics in Health Care and Biomedical Optics V, 85531E (11 December 2012);

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