Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Committee Chair

Osama Mukdadi


The use of ultrasound technology in the biomedical field has been widely increased in recent decades. Ultrasound modalities are considered more safe and cost effective than others that use ionizing radiation. Moreover, the use of high-frequency ultrasound provides means of high-resolution and precise tissue assessment. Consequently, ultrasound elastic waves have been widely used to develop non-invasive techniques for tissue assessment. In this work, ultrasound waves have been used to develop non-invasive techniques for tissue imaging and characterization in three different applications.;Currently, there is a lack of imaging modalities to accurately predict minute structures and defects in the jawbone. In particular, the inability of 2D radiographic images to detect bony periodontal defects resulted from infection of the periodontium. They also may carry known risks of cancer generation or may be limited in accurate diagnosis scope. Ultrasonic guided waves are sensitive to changes in microstructural properties, while high-frequency ultrasound has been used to reconstruct high-resolution images for tissue. The use of these ultrasound techniques may provide means for early diagnosis of marrow ischemic disorders via detecting focal osteoporotic marrow defect, chronic nonsuppurative osteomyelitis, and cavitations in the mandible (jawbone). The first part of this work investigates the feasibility of using guided waves and high frequency ultrasound for non-invasive human jawbone assessment. The experimental design and the signal/image processing procedures for each technique are developed, and multiple in vitro studies are carried out using dentate and non-dentate mandibles. Results from both the ultrasonic guided waves analysis and the high frequency 3D echodentographic imaging suggest that these techniques show great potential in providing non-invasive methods to characterize the jawbone and detect periodontal diseases at earlier stages.;The second part of this work describes indirect technique for characterization via reconstructing high-resolution microscopic images. The availability of well-defined genetic strains and the ability to create transgenic and knockout mice makes mouse models extremely significant tools in different kinds of research. For example, noninvasive measurement of cardiovascular function in mouse hearts has become a valuable need when studying the development or treatment of various diseases. This work describes the development and testing of a single-element ultrasound imaging system that can reconstruct high-resolution brightness mode (B-mode) images for mouse hearts and blood vessels that can be used for quantitative measurements in vitro. Signal processing algorithms are applied on the received ultrasound signals including filtering, focusing, and envelope detection prior to image reconstruction. Additionally, image enhancement techniques and speckle reduction are adopted to improve the image resolution and quality. The system performance is evaluated using both phantom and in vitro studies using isolated mouse hearts and blood vessels from APOE-KO and its wild type control. This imaging system shall provide a basis for early and accurate detection of different kinds of diseases such as atherosclerosis in mouse model.;The last part of this work is initialized by the increasing need for a non-invasive method to assess vascular wall mechanics. Endothelial dysfunction is considered a key factor in the development of atherosclerosis. Flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) measurement in brachial and other conduit arteries has become a common method to assess the endothelial function in vivo. In spite of the direct relationship that could be between the arterial wall multi-component strains and the FMD response, direct measurement of wall strain tensor due to FMD has not yet been reported in the literature. In this work, a noninvasive direct ultrasound-based strain tensor measuring (STM) technique is presented to assess changes in the mechanical parameters of the vascular wall during post-occlusion reactive hyperemia and/or FMD, including local velocities and displacements, diameter change, local strain tensor and strain rates. The STM technique utilizes sequences of B-mode ultrasound images as its input with no extra hardware requirement. The accuracy of the STM algorithm is assessed using phantom, and in vivo studies using human subjects during pre- and post-occlusion. Good correlations are found between the post-occlusion responses of diameter change and local wall strains. Results indicate the validity and versatility of the STM algorithm, and describe how parameters other than the diameter change are sensitive to reactive hyperemia following occlusion. This work suggests that parameters such as local strains and strain rates within the arterial wall are promising metrics for the assessment of endothelial function, which can then be used for accurate assessment of atherosclerosis.