Aberrations induced by soft tissue inhomogeneities often complicate high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) therapies. In this work, a bilayer phantom made from polyvinyl alcohol hydrogel and ballistic gel was built to mimic alternating layers of water-based and lipid tissues characteristic of an abdominal body wall and to reproducibly distort HIFU fields. The density, sound speed, and attenuation coefficient of each material were measured using a homogeneous gel layer. A surface with random topographical features was designed as an interface between gel layers using a 2D Fourier spectrum approach and replicating different spatial scales of tissue inhomogeneities. Distortion of the field of a 256-element 1.5 MHz HIFU array by the phantom was characterized through hydrophone measurements for linear and nonlinear beam focusing and compared to the corresponding distortion induced by an ex vivo porcine body wall of the same thickness. Both spatial shift and widening of the focal lobe were observed, as well as dramatic reduction in focal pressures caused by aberrations. The results suggest that the phantom produced levels of aberration that are similar to a real body wall and can serve as a research tool for studying HIFU effects as well as for developing algorithms for aberration correction.
Bilayer aberration-inducing gel phantom for high intensity focused ultrasound applications
Alex T. Peek, Christopher Hunter, Wayne Kreider, Tatiana D. Khokhlova, Pavel B. Rosnitskiy, Petr V. Yuldashev, Oleg A. Sapozhnikov, Vera A. Khokhlova; Bilayer aberration-inducing gel phantom for high intensity focused ultrasound applications. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 1 December 2020; 148 (6): 3569–3580. https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0002877
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