||Quantitative Assessment of Biological Tissue and Material Properties Using High-Frequency Ultrasound Techniques
||Institute of Computer Science and Information Engineering
first annular pulley
為增進超音波的解析度以增加評估生物組織與材料特性之敏感度，本研究發展配有30與50 MHz超音波換能器之高頻超音波成像系統。此系統用於量測高分子複合材、過濾膜、正常第一滑車組織、皮下組織、淺指屈肌肌腱、板機指之病變第一滑車組織。此外，以超音波定量參數：聲速、衰減係數、積體逆散射(integrated backscatter)與統計模型分析樣本特性。
首先，以50 MHz超音波成像系統檢測添加0 至0.3重量百分比的碳纖維於聚碳酸酯之高分子複合材，並結合影像分析技術評估碳纖維的濃度與排向性。複合材的積體逆散射與Nakagami參數會隨著碳纖維濃度增加而增加，且在複合材料表面下較深處有較高的碳纖維濃度。根據以楕圓參數估計碳纖維的排向性之結果可得知碳纖維在複合材料表面下較深處的排向性較為一致。
50 MHz超音波成像系統亦用於偵測微過濾薄膜之有機積垢沉積與分佈情形。積垢沉積實驗以聚偏二氟乙烯(polyvinylidene fluoride)薄膜在平板式系統中過濾濃度2與4 ppm的腐植酸。過濾100分鐘後，2 與4 ppm的腐植酸所形成之積垢厚度分別為1.81 ± 0.9 μm與2.45 ± 1.57 μm；而且其薄膜反射訊號之峰對峰值分別由2.05 ± 0.07 V 下降至 1.13 ± 0.16 V與由2.11 ± 0.08 V下降至0.94 ± 0.15 V。
為進一步了解超音波掃描方向對正常的第一環形滑車組織與淺指屈肌肌腱的統計參數估計之影響，以Nakagami、韋伯(Weibull)、廣義伽瑪(generalized gamma, GG)分佈擬合不同掃描角度所量測第一環形滑車組織與淺指屈肌肌腱的逆散射訊號之機率密度函式。掃描角度是指超音波掃描方向與組織中纖維排列方向所形成之夾角，其變動範圍由0°至90°。結果顯示在掃描角度為90°時，第一環形滑車組織與淺指屈肌肌腱的逆散射訊號之機率密度函式為前雷利(pre-Rayleigh)分佈；當掃描角度為0°時，其機率密度函式同時具有前雷利分布與後雷利(post-Rayleigh)分佈。第一環形滑車組織與淺指屈肌肌腱的統計模型之形狀參數(Nakagami-m、Weibull-β、GG-q)會隨掃描角度增加而明顯減小。在這三種統計分佈中，廣義伽瑪分佈最能擬合包封訊號的機率密度函式，但是Weibull-β則有最小的變異度(variability)。
A high-frequency ultrasound imaging system, which was equipped 30 and 50 MHz transducers, was developed for improving the ultrasonic resolution that increased the sensitivity for assessing the properties of biological tissue and material. This system was used to measure the polymer composite, filtration membrane, normal first annular (A1) pulley, hypodermis, superficial digital flexor tendon (SDFT), and diseased A1 pulley in the trigger finger. Furthermore, the properties of these samples were analyzed using the quantitative ultrasound parameters, including sound velocity, attenuation coefficient, and integrated backscatter (IB), as well as statistical models.
Firstly, the 50 MHz ultrasound imaging system and techniques of image analysis were used to assess the concentration and orientation of carbon fibers (CFs) in the polymer composites, which contained a mix of polycarbonate substrates and 0 to 0.3 weight percentages (wt%) of CFs. The IB and Nakagami parameter of the composite samples increased corresponding to the increase in CF concentrations. The concentration of CFs in the deeper regions of the sample was higher than that in the shallower regions. According to the results of the orientations of CFs measured using elliptic parameters, the orientations of CFs tended to distribute more uniformly in the deeper regions of the samples.
The 50 MHz ultrasound imaging system was also utilized to detect the deposition and distribution of organic fouling on the microfiltration (MF) membranes. Experiments of fouling depositions were performed from polyvinylidene fluoride MF membranes filtrated with aqueous humic acid solutions (HAS) of 2 and 4 ppm concentrations in a flat-sheet module. Following the filtrations with 2 and 4 ppm HAS for 100 minutes, the corresponding thickness of fouling deposition were 1.81 ± 0.9 μm and 2.45 ± 1.57 μm, respectively; those average peak-to-peak echo voltage decreased from 2.05 ± 0.07 V to 1.13 ± 0.16 V and from 2.11 ± 0.08 V to 0.94 ± 0.15 V.
In addition to measuring the material properties, the high-frequency ultrasound imaging system was used to characterize biological tissues. In this study, the 30 MHz ultrasound imaging system was used to measure the normal A1 pulley and its surrounding tissues (hypodermis and SDFT), which were dissected from cadaveric hands. These tissues were characterized using sound velocity, attenuation coefficient, IB, and Nakagami parameter. The experimental results indicated that the sound velocity of the A1 pulley and SDFT were considerable faster than that of the hypodermis. The attenuation slope of the hypodermis was significantly larger than that of the A1 pulley and SDFT. The IB of the SDFT was larger than that of the A1 pulley. The Nakagami parameter of the A1 pulley, which was acquired in the sagittal plane, was smaller than that of the SDFT; when these tissues were imaged in transverse plane, the Nakagami parameter of the A1 pulley was significantly larger than that of the SDFT.
To further comprehend the effect of the ultrasonic scanning direction on the estimated statistical parameters from the normal A1 pulley and SDFT, three general statistical distributions (Nakagami, Weibull and generalized gamma (GG) distributions) were used to model the probability density functions (PDFs) of the backscattering signals which were acquired at various scanning angles relative to the fiber axes in the A1 pulley and SDFT ranging from 0° to 90°. These results showed that the PDF of envelopes from both A1 pulley and SDFT at 90° followed pre-Rayleigh distributions, while those at 0° exhibited both pre- and post-Rayleigh distributions simultaneously. The shape parameters, including Nakagami-m, Weibull-β, and GG-q, for A1 pulley and SDFT were decreased significantly as the scanning angle increased. Among all the three distributions, the GG distribution provided the best fit for the envelope PDFs. In addition, Weibull-β had a smaller variability than Nakagami-m and GG-q.
Finally, sound velocity, attenuation coefficient, IB, and three general statistical distributions (Nakagami, Weibull and GG distributions) were used to characterize the normal and diseased A1 pulleys. The diseased A1 pulleys were dissected from patients with trigger finger. The results indicated that the sound velocity of the diseased A1 pulley was considerable slower than that of the normal A1 pulley. The hypoechogenicity on a B-mode image of an A1 pulley in a trigger finger compared with a normal A1 pulley was attributed to the higher attenuation and lower backscattered intensity of a diseased A1 pulley. In addition, the shape parameters (Nakagami-m, Weibull-β, and GG-q) of normal A1 pulleys exhibited decreasing tendencies as the scanning angle increased from 0° to 90°, whereas those of A1 pulleys in trigger fingers were not affected by the scanning angles. The slopes of all shape parameters differed significantly between normal and diseased A1 pulleys.
The all experimental results indicated that the high-frequency ultrasound in conjunction with quantitative ultrasound parameters and image analysis have ability for assessing the concentration and orientation of CFs in the polymer composites, detecting organic fouling distribution on MF membrane, distinguishing the A1 pulley from its surrounding tissues, and differentiating between normal and diseased A1 pulleys.
TABLE OF CONTENTS.....VII
LIST OF FIGURES.....X
LIST OF TABLES.....XIV
CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION.....1
1.1 High-Frequency Ultrasound.....1
1.2 Quantitative Ultrasound Parameters.....2
1.3 Statistical Models.....3
1.4 Research Objectives.....4
1.5 Dissertation Organization.....5
CHAPTER 2 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND.....7
2.1 Fundamentals of Acoustic Wave Propagation.....7
2.2 Reflection and Refraction.....11
2.3 Ultrasonic Attenuation.....13
2.4 Ultrasonic Scattering.....14
2.5 Statistical Models for Ultrasonic Backscattered Signals.....17
CHAPTER 3 HIGH-FREQUENCY ULTRASOUND IMAGING SYSTEM.....22
CHAPTER 4 QUANTITATIVE ASSESSMENT ON THE ORIENTATION AND DISTRIBUTION OF CARBON FIBERS IN A CONDUCTIVE POLYMER COMPOSITE USING HIGH-FREQUENCY ULTRASOUND.....28
4.2 Materials and Methods.....31
4.2.1 Polymer composite.....31
4.2.2 Experimental arrangement and data analysis.....33
4.3 Results and Discussion.....39
CHAPTER 5 DISTRIBUTION AND DEPOSITION OF ORGANIC FOULING ON THE MICROFILTRATION MEMBRANE EVALUATED BY HIGH-FREQUENCY ULTRASOUND.....49
5.2 Materials and Methods.....53
5.2.1 Microfiltration system.....53
5.2.2 Experimental procedures and data analysis.....55
5.3 Results and Discussion.....57
CHAPTER 6 TISSUE CHARACTERIZATION OF A1 PULLEY SYSTEM USING HIGH-FREQUENCY ULTRASOUND.....72
6.2 Materials and Methods.....75
6.2.1 Experimental arrangement.....75
6.2.2 Parameters analysis.....77
CHAPTER 7 EFFECTS OF THE SCANNING DIRECTION ON THE CHARACTERIZATION OF PULLEY AND TENDON TISSUES USING STATISTICAL PARAMETERES FROM BACKSCATTERING SIGNALS.....96
7.2 Materials and Methods.....96
7.2.1 Experimental arrangement.....96
7.2.2 Parameters analysis.....97
CHAPTER 8 TISSUE CHARACTERIZATION OF THE PULLEY IN TRIGGER FINGER USING HIGH-FREQUENCY ULTRASOUND.....117
8.2 Materials and Methods.....117
8.3 Results and Discussion.....119
CHAPTER 9 CONCLUSIONS AND SUGGESTIONS FOR FUTURE WORKS 133
9.1.1 Quantitative assessment on the orientation and distribution of carbon fibers in a conductive polymer composite using high-frequency ultrasound.....134
9.1.2 Distribution and deposition of organic fouling on the microfiltration membrane evaluated by high-frequency ultrasound.....134
9.1.3 Tissue characterization of A1 pulley system using high-frequency ultrasound.....135
9.1.4 Effects of the scanning direction on the characterization of pulley and tendon tissues using statistical parameters from backscattering signals.....136
9.1.5 Tissue characterization of the pulley in trigger finger using high-frequency ultrasound.....137
9.2 Suggestions for Future Works.....139
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