Ultrasonic backscattering coefficient (BSC) has been used extensively to characterize tissue. In most cases, sparse scatterer concentrations are assumed. However, many types of tissues have dense scattering media. This study addresses the problem of dense media scattering by taking into account the correlation among scatterers using the structure functions. The effect of scatterer polydispersity on the structure functions is investigated. Structure function models based on polydisperse scatterers are theoretically developed and experimentally evaluated against the structure functions obtained from cell pellet biophantoms. The biophantoms were constructed by placing live cells of known concentration in coagulation media to form a clot. The BSCs of the biophantoms were estimated using single-element transducers over the frequency range from 11 to 105 MHz. Experimental structure functions were obtained by comparing the BSCs of two cell concentrations. The structure functions predicted by the models agreed with the experimental structure functions. Fitting the models yielded cell radius estimates that were consistent with direct light microscope measures. The results demonstrate the role of scatterer position correlation on dense media scattering, and the significance of scatterer polydispersity on structure functions. This work may lead to more accurate modeling of ultrasonic scattering in dense medium for improved tissue characterization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number7024979
Pages (from-to)303-318
Number of pages16
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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