Volume 125, Issue 6, June 2009
Index of content:
- BIOACOUSTICS 
Influence of a gradient of material properties on ultrasonic wave propagation in cortical bone: Application to axial transmission125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3117445View Description Hide Description
The aim of this work is to evaluate the effect of a spatial gradient of material properties (mass density and stiffness coefficients) of cortical bone on its ultrasonic response obtained with an axial transmission device. Therefore, a two-dimensional finite element time-domain method is derived to model transient wave propagation in a three-layer medium composed of an inhomogeneous transverse isotropic solid layer sandwiched between two acoustic fluid layers and excited by an acoustic linear source located in one fluid layer, delivering broadband ultrasonic pulses. The model couples the acoustic propagation in both fluid media with the elastodynamic response of the solid layer. A constant spatial gradient of material properties is considered for two values of bone thicknesses corresponding to relatively thick and thin bone widths. For a thin bone compared to wavelength (around at ), the results are in good agreement with a Lamb wave assuming a homogeneous material with spatially averaged material properties. For a thick bone , the results are in agreement with the propagation of a lateral wave and allow the derivation of an equivalent contributing depth in the case of a transverse isotropic inhomogeneous solid layer.
125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3124777View Description Hide Description
The perception of two simultaneous tones was investigated in goldfish using classical respiratory conditioning and a stimulus generalization paradigm. Pairs of tones were used to make up a mixture of 150 Hz and a higher harmonic or a mistuned harmonic. Fish were conditioned to the two-tone mixture and then tested for generalization to several pure tones. The simultaneous tones tended to be segregated in perception, with the generalization gradient for single tones having two peaks corresponding to the frequencies of the tone pairs. There were no consistent differences in the generalization gradients following conditioning to harmonic or inharmonic tone pairs. In addition, experiments were carried out in which the two tones of the pair were heard on alternate trials, always as single tones, followed by generalization tests to single tones. There was more generalization in this experiment, reflecting the fact that conditioning and generalization test stimuli were both single tones. However, the shapes of the generalization gradients were similar to those in which fish were conditioned to two simultaneous tones, indicating that the simultaneity of the tones did not make them harder to segregate. As the frequency separation between the two components narrowed, segregation tended to fail.
Temporary shift in masked hearing thresholds in a harbor porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) after exposure to seismic airgun stimuli125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3117443View Description Hide Description
An auditory study was conducted to derive data on temporary threshold shift (TTS) induced by single impulses. This information should serve as basis for the definition of noise exposure criteria for harbor porpoises. The measurements of TTS were conducted on a harbor porpoise by measuring the auditory evoked potentials in response to amplitude-modulated sounds. After obtaining baseline hearing data the animal was exposed to single airgun stimuli at increasing received levels. Immediately after each exposure the animal’s hearing threshold was tested for significant changes. The received levels of the airgun impulses were increased until TTS was reached. At 4 kHz the predefined TTS criterion was exceeded at a received sound pressure level of and a sound exposure level (SEL) of . The animal consistently showed aversive behavioral reactions at received sound pressure levels above or a SEL of . Elevated levels of baseline hearing sensitivity indicate potentially masked acoustic thresholds. Therefore, the resulting TTS levels should be considered masked temporary threshold shift (MTTS) levels. The MTTS levels are lower than for any other cetacean species tested so far.
125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3126993View Description Hide Description
The objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of modulated ultrasound signals in the measurement of bone properties as an early indicator of osteoporosis. Twenty-one trabecular bone cubes were harvested from sheep femoral condyles and the cube axes corresponded to the anatomic superior-inferior (SI), antero-posterior (AP), and medio-lateral (ML) orientations. Micro-CT measurements were made on those samples to obtain bone volume fraction (BV/TV), trabecular thickness (Tb.Th), and trabecular separation (Tb.Sp). Ultrasound tests were performed in the three orthogonal orientations using pulse and frequency modulated ultrasound. The comparison of the frequency modulated attenuation (FMA) with the broadband ultrasound attenuation (BUA) was made within the frequency band between 300 and . Results showed that FMA demonstrated higher correlations to the trabecular structure properties in the SI orientation ( for BV/TV, for Tb.Th, for Tb.Sp) than BUA ( for BV/TV, for Tb.Th, for Tb.Sp). In the AP orientation, FMA had higher correlation to Tr.Sp than BUA , and relatively lower correlation to BV/TV and Tb.Th than BUA ( for BV/TV and for Tb.Th). The results suggested that FMA could be a new ultrasound index for bone properties assessment.
125(2009); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3117384View Description Hide Description
Ultrasound contrast agents (UCAs) are designed to be used below , but interest is growing in studying the response of agents to high-frequency ultrasound. In this study, the subharmonic response of polymer-shelled UCAs with a mean diameter of excited with tone-bursts of was analyzed. UCAs were diluted in water and streamed through a flow phantom that permitted single-bubble backscatter events to be acquired at peak-negative pressures from . At each exposure condition, 1000 single-bubble-backscatter events were digitized. Subharmonic content at was screened using a conventional and a singular-value-decomposition (SVD) method. The conventional method evaluated each event spectrum individually while the SVD method treated the 1000-event data set at one time. A subharmonic score (SHS) indicative of how much subharmonic content a 1000-event data set contained was computed for both methods. Empirical-simulation results indicated that SHSs obtained from the two methods were linearly related. Also, experimental data with both methods indicated that subharmonic likelihood increased with pulse duration and peaked near . The SVD method also yielded quantitative information about subharmonic events not available with the conventional method.