Quasi-plane shear wave propagation induced by acoustic radiation force with a focal line region: a simulation study
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Shear wave propagation speed has been regarded as an attractive indicator for quantitatively measuring the intrinsic mechanical properties of soft tissues. While most existing techniques use acoustic radiation force (ARF) excitation with focal spot region based on linear array transducers, we try to employ a special ARF with a focal line region and apply it to viscoelastic materials to create shear waves. First, a two-dimensional capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducer with \(64 \times 128\) fully controllable elements is realised and simulated to generate this special ARF. Then three-dimensional finite element models are developed to simulate the resulting shear wave propagation through tissue phantom materials. Three different phantoms are explored in our simulation study using: (a) an isotropic viscoelastic medium, (b) within a cylindrical inclusion, and (c) a transverse isotropic viscoelastic medium. For each phantom, the ARF creates a quasi-plane shear wave which has a preferential propagation direction perpendicular to the focal line excitation. The propagation of the quasi-plane shear wave is investigated and then used to reconstruct shear moduli sequentially after the estimation of shear wave speed. In the phantom with a transverse isotropic viscoelastic medium, the anisotropy results in maximum speed parallel to the fiber direction and minimum speed perpendicular to the fiber direction. The simulation results show that the line excitation extends the displacement field to obtain a large imaging field in comparison with spot excitation, and demonstrate its potential usage in measuring the mechanical properties of anisotropic tissues.
KeywordsElastography Acoustic radiation force Shear wave Finite element 2D CMUT array
This work was supported in part by the Shenzhen Foundational Research Project (SGLH20131010110119871, GJHZ20140415152115754), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (61471243).
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