Thermoacoustic emission induced by deeply penetrating radiation and its application to biomedical imaging.
AuthorLiew, Soo Chin.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThermoacoustic emissions induced by 2450 MHz microwave pulses in water, tissue-simulating phantoms and dog kidneys have been detected. The analytic signal magnitude has been employed in generating 'A-mode' images with excellent depth resolution. Thermoacoustic emissions have also been detected from the dose-gradient at the beam edges of a 4 MeV x-ray beam in water. These results establish the feasibility of employing thermoacoustic signals in generating diagnostic images, and in locating x-ray beam edges during radiation therapy. A theoretical model for thermoacoustic imaging using a directional transducer has been developed, which may be used in the design of future thermoacoustic imaging system, and in facilitating comparisons with other types of imaging systems. A method of characterizing biological tissues has been proposed, which relates the power spectrum of the detected thermoacoustic signals to the autocorrelation function of the thermoacoustic source distribution in the tissues. The temperature dependence of acoustic signals induced by microwave pulses in water has been investigated. The signal amplitudes vary with temperature as the thermal expansion of water, except near 4°C. The signal waveforms show a gradual phase change as the temperature changes from below 4° to above 4°C. This anomaly is due to the presence of a nonthermal component detected near 4°C, whose waveform is similar to the derivative of the room temperature signal. The results are compared to a model based on a nonequilibrium relaxation mechanism proposed by Pierce and Hsieh. The relaxation time was found to be (0.20±0.02) ns and (0.13±0.02) ns for 200 ns and 400 ns microwave pulse widths, respectively. A microwave-induced thermoacoustic source capable of launching large aperture, unipolar ultrasonic plane wave pulses in water has been constructed. This source consists of a thin water layer trapped between two dielectric media. Due to the large mismatch in the dielectric constants, the incident microwaves undergo multiple reflections between the dielectric boundaries trapping the water, resulting in an enhanced specific microwave absorption in the thin water layer. This source may be useful in ultrasonic scattering and attenuation experiments.