Acoustic characterisation of thoracic body tissues in the audible frequency range
A previous study by Jones and Thomas  suggests that data relating to the physiological condition within the thoracic cavity may be obtainable utilising low frequency acoustic signals applied to the mouth and detected on the chest wall. In order to evaluate the contribution to the mouth to chest wall frequency response of the separate elements within the thorax, and to estimate the effect on this response when the lung physiology changes, an acoustic model of the thorax is required. To aid the development of this model, experiments have been carried out in order to establish the frequency dependence of the acoustic attenuation and speed of propagation through thoracic tissue samples in the audible frequency range 20–500 Hz. Samples from the porcine family were used due to their physical similarity to those of humans and their being obtainable within a short time of death.
The results of this work can be utilised in the development of an acoustic model of the human thorax, this in turn enabling simulation and analysis of low frequency acoustic transmission from the trachea to the chest wall.
Key wordsacoustic tissue speed of sound attenuation thorax lung
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