Towards assessing cortical bone porosity using low-frequency quantitative acoustics: A phantom-based study
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
Purpose Cortical porosity is a key characteristic governing the structural properties and mechanical behaviour of bone, and its quantification is therefore critical for understanding and monitoring the development of various bone pathologies such as osteoporosis. Axial transmission quantitative acoustics has shown to be a promising technique for assessing bone health in a fast, non-invasive, and radiation-free manner. One major hurdle in bringing this approach to clinical application is the entanglement of the effects of individual characteristics (e.g. geometry, porosity, anisotropy etc.) on the measured wave propagation. In order to address this entanglement problem, we therefore propose a systematic bottom-up approach, in which only one bone property is varied, before addressing interaction effects. This work therefore investigated the sensitivity of low-frequency quantitative acoustics to changes in porosity as well as individual pore characteristics using specifically designed cortical bone phantoms. Materials and methods 14 bone phantoms were designed with varying pore size, axial-, and radial pore number, resulting in porosities (bone volume fraction) between 0% and 15%, similar to porosity values found in human cortical bone. All phantoms were manufactured using laser sintering, measured using axial-transmission acoustics and analysed using a full-wave approach. Experimental results were compared to theoretical predictions based on a modified Timoshenko theory. Results A clear dependence of phase velocity on frequency and porosity produced by increasing pore size or radial pore number was demonstrated, with the velocity decreasing by between 2–5 m/s per percent of additional porosity, which corresponds to -0.5% to -1.0% of wave speed. While the change in phase velocity due to axial pore number was consistent with the results due to pore size and radial pore number, the relative uncertainties for the estimates were too high to draw any conclusions for this parameter. Conclusions This work has shown the capability of low-frequency quantitative acoustics to reflect changes in porosity and individual pore characteristics and demonstrated that additive manufacturing is an appropriate method that allows the influence of individual bone properties on the wave propagation to be systematically assessed. The results of this work opens perspectives for the efficient development of a multi-frequency, multi-mode approach to screen, diagnose, and monitor bone pathologies in individuals. Show more
Journal / seriesPLoS ONE
Pages / Article No.
PublisherPublic Library of Science (PLoS)
Organisational unit03994 - Taylor, William R. / Taylor, William R.
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