Nonlinear Inversion of Ultrasonic Dispersion Curves for Cortical Bone Thickness and Elastic Velocities
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In this study, a nonlinear grid-search inversion has been developed to estimate the thickness and elastic velocities of long cortical bones, which are important determinants of bone strength, from axially-transmitted ultrasonic data. The inversion scheme is formulated in the dispersive frequency-phase velocity domain to recover bone properties. The method uses ultrasonic guided waves to retrieve overlying soft tissue thickness, cortical thickness, compressional, and shear-wave velocities of the cortex. The inversion strategy requires systematic examination of a large set of trial dispersion-curve solutions within a pre-defined model space to match the data with minimum cost in a least-squares sense. The theoretical dispersion curves required to solve the inverse problem are computed for bilayered bone models using a semi-analytical finite-element method. The feasibility of the proposed approach was demonstrated by the numerically simulated data for a 1 mm soft tissue-5 mm bone bilayer and ex-vivo data from a bovine femur plate with an overlying 2 mm-thick soft-tissue mimic. The bootstrap method was employed to evaluate the inversion uncertainty and stability. Our results have shown that the cortical thickness and wave speeds could be recovered with fair accuracy.
KeywordsUltrasonic guided waves Cortical bone Axial transmission technique Nonlinear inversion Grid search
L. H. Le acknowledges the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Discovery Grant. The work was also supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (11525416 and 11827808), the International Scientific and Technological Cooperation Project of Shanghai (17510710700), and Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Major Project (2017SHZDZX01). Dr. Le is currently a Senior Visiting Scholar at the State Key Laboratory of ASIC and System of Fudan University for the joint work. T.N.H.T. Tran acknowledges Alberta Innovates-Technology Futures (AITF) and the generous supporters of Lois Hole Hospital through Women and Children’s Health Research Institute (WCHRI) for the graduate studentships.
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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