Spatio-Spectral Ultrasound Characterization of Reflection and Transmission Through Bone With Temperature Dependence

Collin S Smith, Christopher O'Driscoll, Emad S. Ebbini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Transcranial focused ultrasound (tFUS) is a promising approach for the treatment of neurological disorders. It has proven useful in several clinical applications, with promising outcomes reported in the recent literature. Furthermore, it is currently being investigated in a range of neuromodulation (NM) and ablative applications, including epilepsy. In this application, tFUS access through the temporal window is the key to optimizing the treatment safety and efficacy. Traditional approaches have utilized transducers with low operating frequencies for tFUS applications. Modern array transducers and driving systems allow for more intelligent use of the temporal window by exploiting the spatio-spectral transmission bandwidth to a specified target or targets within the brain. To demonstrate the feasibility of this approach, we have investigated the ultrasound reflection and transmission characteristics for different access points within the temporal window of human skull samples ex vivo. Different transmit-receive (Rx) configurations are used for characterization of the spatio-spectral variability in reflection and transmission through the temporal window. In this article, we show results from a dual-piston transducer set up in the frequency range of 2-7 MHz. Broadband pulses as well as synthesized orthogonal frequency division multiplexed (OFDM) waveforms were used. The latter was used to improve the magnitude and phase measurements in 100-kHz subbands within the 2-7 MHz spectral window. A temperature-controlled water bath was used to characterize the change in reflection and transmission characteristics with temperature in the 25°C-43°C range. The measured values of the complex reflection and transmission coefficients exhibited significant variations with space, frequency, and temperature. On the other hand, the measured transmission phase varied more with location and frequency, with smaller sensitivity to temperature. A measurement-based hybrid angular spectrum (HAS) simulation through the human temporal bone was used to demonstrate the dependence of focusing gain on the skull profile and spatial distribution of change of speed of sound (SOS) at different skull temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1727-1737
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:


  • Broadband communication
  • Broadband ultrasound
  • Frequency division multiplexing
  • Frequency measurement
  • Multicarrier Waveforms
  • OFDM
  • Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing
  • Skull
  • Temperature measurement
  • Transcranial Focused Ultrasound
  • Transducers
  • Brain
  • Temperature
  • Humans
  • Skull/diagnostic imaging
  • Ultrasonography

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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