Acoustics and Photoacoustics

Acoustic and Ultrasound Techniques for Monitoring Brain Injury

Providing windows into the body, ultrasound-based imaging has become an essential tool in the diagnostic arsenal of the physician. Ultrasonic technology can be made portable, easy to use, and safe. However, the use of ultrasound for diagnosing pathologies within the adult cranium have largely been limited to assessing blood flow in the major vessels. The skull has proven a challenging obstacle to the coherent propagation of ultrasonic waves, making imaging difficult. A largely unexplored method for the assessment of brain injury is ultrasonic tissue characterization. Ultrasonic tissue characterization has proven to provide sensitive and selective indicators of the state of vital tissues in more sonically accessible organs such as the heart. The backscattered signals were acquired using various probes that permitted us to cover a decade in the ultrasonic spectrum (500 kHz to 5 MHz). We investigate the utility of various parameters in detecting induced asymmetries in the brains of the subjects. The goal of this work is develop a rapid screening technology for monitoring brain injury and disease.

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