From imaging to material identification: A generalized concept of topological sensitivity

Bojan B. Guzina, Ivan Chikichev

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75 Scopus citations


To establish a compact analytical framework for the preliminary stress-wave identification of material defects, the focus of this study is an extension of the concept of topological derivative, rooted in elastostatics and the idea of cavity nucleation, to 3D elastodynamics involving germination of solid obstacles. The main result of the proposed generalization is an expression for topological sensitivity, explicit in terms of the elastodynamic Green's function, obtained by an asymptotic expansion of a misfit-type cost functional with respect to the nucleation of a dissimilar elastic inclusion in a defect-free "reference" solid. The featured formula, consisting of an inertial-contrast monopole term and an elasticity-contrast dipole term, is shown to be applicable to a variety of reference solids (semi-infinite and infinite domains with constant or functionally graded elastic properties) for which the Green's functions are available. To deal with situations when the latter is not the case (e.g. finite reference bodies or those with pre-existing defects), an adjoint field approach is employed to derive an alternative expression for topological sensitivity that involves the contraction of two (numerically computed) elastodynamic states. A set of numerical results is included to demonstrate the potential of generalized topological derivative as an efficient tool for exposing not only the geometry, but also material characteristics of subsurface material defects through a local, point-wise identification of "optimal" inclusion properties that minimize the topological sensitivity at sampling location. Beyond the realm of non-invasive characterization of engineered materials, the proposed developments may be relevant to medical diagnosis and in particular to breast cancer detection where focused ultrasound waves show a promise of superseding manual palpation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)245-279
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of the Mechanics and Physics of Solids
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The support provided by the National Science Foundation through Award No. CMS-0324348 to B. Guzina and the University of Minnesota Supercomputing Institute during the course of this investigation is kindly acknowledged.

Copyright 2008 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Elastic waves
  • Imaging
  • Inverse scattering
  • Topological sensitivity
  • Transmission problem


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