Scatterer size estimation in pulse-echo ultrasound using focused sources: Calibration measurements and phantom experiments

Timothy A. Bigelow, William D. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In a companion paper [T. A. Bigelow and W. D. O'Brien Jr., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 116, 578 (2004)], theory, supported by simulations, showed that accurate scatterer size estimates could be obtained using highly focused sources provided that the derived generalized attenuation-compensation function was used and the velocity potential field near the focus could be approximated as a three-dimensional Gaussian. Herein, the theory is further evaluated via experimental studies. A calibration technique is developed to find the necessary equivalent Gaussian dimensions for a focused source using reflections obtained from a rigid plane scanned through the focus. Then, the theoretical analysis of focused sources is validated experimentally using three spherically focused ultrasound transducers to estimate the radius of glass beads imbedded in tissue mimicking phantoms. Both the impact of focusing (f/1, f/2, and f/4) and the effect of scatterer type (comparing glass bead results to simulation results that used scatterers with Gaussian impedance distributions) were tested. The simulated differences agree with the measured differences to within 2.5% provided that the comparison is made between the same scatterer type and sources with the same equivalent Gaussian dimensions. The improvement provided by the generalized attenuation-compensation function is greatly influenced by the type of scatterer whose size is being estimated and decreases as the wavelength dependence of the Gaussian depth of focus is reduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)594-602
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2004
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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