On ultrasound waves guided by bones with coupled soft tissues: A mechanism study and in vitro calibration

Jiangang Chen, Zhongqing Su

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


The influence of soft tissues coupled with cortical bones on precision of quantitative ultrasound (QUS) has been an issue in the clinical bone assessment in conjunction with the use of ultrasound. In this study, the effect arising from soft tissues on propagation characteristics of guided ultrasound waves in bones was investigated using tubular Sawbones phantoms covered with a layer of mimicked soft tissue of different thicknesses and elastic moduli, and an in vitro porcine femur in terms of the axial transmission measurement. Results revealed that presence of soft tissues can exert significant influence on the propagation of ultrasound waves in bones, leading to reduced propagation velocities and attenuated wave magnitudes compared with the counterparts in a free bone in the absence of soft tissues. However such an effect is not phenomenally dependent on the variations in thickness and elastic modulus of the coupled soft tissues, making it possible to compensate for the coupling effect regardless of the difference in properties of the soft tissues. Based on an in vitro calibration, this study proposed quantitative compensation for the effect of soft tissues on ultrasound waves in bones, facilitating development of high-precision QUS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1186-1196
Number of pages11
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Bone assessment
  • Coupling effect
  • Quantitative ultrasound (QUS)
  • Soft tissue
  • Ultrasound waves

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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