Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 29, Issue 9, pp 781–790

Ultrasonic Wave Propagation in Trabecular Bone Predicted by the Stratified Model

  • Wei Lin
  • Yi-Xian Qin
  • Clinton Rubin


The objective of this study was to investigate ultrasound propagation in trabecular bone by considering the wave reflection and transmission in a multilayered medium. The use of ultrasound to identify those at risk of osteoporosis is a promising diagnostic method providing a measure of bone mineral density (BMD). A stratified model was proposed to study the effect of transmission and reflection of ultrasound wave within the trabecular architecture on the relationship between ultrasound and BMD. The results demonstrated that ultrasound velocity in trabecular bone was highly correlated with the bone apparent density (r=0.97). Moreover, a consistent pattern of the frequency dependence of ultrasound attenuation coefficient has been observed between simulation using this model and experimental measurement of trabecular bone. The normalized broadband ultrasound attenuation (nBUA) derived from the simulation results revealed that nBUA was nonlinear with respect to trabecular porosity and BMD. The curve of the relationship between nBUA and BMD was parabolic in shape, and the peak magnitude of nBUA was observed at ∼60% of bone porosity. These results agreed with the published experimental data and demonstrated that according to the stratified model, reflection and transmission were important factors in the ultrasonic propagation through the trabecular bone. © 2001 Biomedical Engineering Society.

PAC01: 4380Vj, 4380Qf, 8763Df, 8710+e, 4325Ed, 8719-j

Ultrasound Ultrasound velocity Broadband ultrasound attenuation Bone Stratified model Bone mineral density Osteoporosis Bone porosity Trabecular bone Strength 


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Lin
    • 1
  • Yi-Xian Qin
    • 1
  • Clinton Rubin
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringState University of New York at Stony BrookStony Brook

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