Volume 129, Issue 3, March 2011
Index of content:
- NONLINEAR ACOUSTICS 
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3504712View Description Hide Description
A statistical model is developed for the suppression of clutter in tissue harmonic imaging (THI). Tissue heterogeneity is modeled as a random phase screen that is characterized by its correlation length and variance. With the autocorrelation function taken to be Gaussian and for small variance, statistical solutions are derived for the mean intensities at the fundamental and second-harmonic frequencies in the field of a focused sound beam that propagates through the phase screen. The statistical solutions are verified by comparison with ensemble averaging of direct numerical simulations. The model demonstrates that THI reduces the aberration clutter appearing in the focal region regardless of the depth of the aberrating layer, with suppression of the clutter most effective when the layer is close to the source. The model is also applied to the reverberation clutter that is transmitted forward along the axis of the beam. As with aberration clutter, suppression of such reverberation clutter by THI is most pronounced when the tissue heterogeneity is located close to the source.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3533723View Description Hide Description
Experiments are carried out to assess, for the first time, the validity of a generalized Burgers’ equation, introduced first by Davidson [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 54, 1331–1342 (1973)] to compute the nonlinear propagation of finite amplitude acoustical waves in suspensions of “rigid” particles. Silicananoparticles of two sizes (33 and 69 nm) have been synthesized in a water–ethanol mixture and precisely characterized via electron microscopy. An acoustical beam of high amplitude is generated at 1 MHz inside a water tank, leading to the formation of acoustical shock waves through nonlinear steepening. The signal is then measured after propagation in a cylinder containing either a reference solution or suspensions of nanoparticles. In this way, a “nonlinear attenuation” is obtained and compared to the numerical solution of a generalized Burgers’ equation adapted to the case of hydrosols. An excellent agreement (corresponding to an error on the particles size estimation of 3 nm) is achieved in the frequency range from 1 to 40 MHz. Both visco-inertial and thermal scattering are significant in the present case, whereas thermal effects can generally be neglected for most hydrosols. This is due to the value of the specific heat ratio of water–ethanol mixture which significantly differs from unity.
A contrast source method for nonlinear acoustic wave fields in media with spatially inhomogeneous attenuation129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3543986View Description Hide Description
Experimental data reveals that attenuation is an important phenomenon in medical ultrasound.Attenuation is particularly important for medical applications based on nonlinear acoustics, since higher harmonics experience higher attenuation than the fundamental. Here, a method is presented to accurately solve the wave equation for nonlinear acoustic media with spatially inhomogeneous attenuation. Losses are modeled by a spatially dependent compliance relaxation function, which is included in the Westervelt equation. Introduction of absorption in the form of a causal relaxation function automatically results in the appearance of dispersion. The appearance of inhomogeneities implies the presence of a spatially inhomogeneous contrast source in the presented full-wave method leading to inclusion of forward and backward scattering. The contrast source problem is solved iteratively using a Neumann scheme, similar to the iterative nonlinear contrast source (INCS) method. The presented method is directionally independent and capable of dealing with weakly to moderately nonlinear, large scale, three-dimensional wave fields occurring in diagnosticultrasound. Convergence of the method has been investigated and results for homogeneous, lossy, linear media show full agreement with the exact results. Moreover, the performance of the method is demonstrated through simulations involving steered and unsteered beams in nonlinear media with spatially homogeneous and inhomogeneous attenuation.
129(2011); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.3543943View Description Hide Description
Thin solid shell contrast agents bubbles are expected to undergo different volume oscillating behaviors when the acoustic power is increased: small oscillations when the shell remains spherical, and large oscillations when the shell buckles. Contrary to bubbles covered with thin lipidic monolayers that buckle as soon as compressed: the solid shell bubbles resist compression, making the buckling transition abrupt. Numerical simulations that explicitly incorporate a shell bendingmodulus give the critical bucklingpressure and post-buckling shape, and show the appearance of a finite number of wrinkles. These findings are incorporated in a model based on the concept of effective surface tension. This model compares favorably to experiments when adjusting two main parameters: the buckling tension and the rupture shell tension. The buckling tension provides a direct estimation of the acoustic pressure threshold at which buckling occurs.