Multiple scattering of ultrasound in weakly inhomogeneous media: Application to human soft tissues

  • Aubry A
  • Derode A
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Waves scattered by a weakly inhomogeneous random medium contain a predominant single-scattering contribution as well as a multiple-scattering contribution which is usually neglected, especially for imaging purposes. A method based on random matrix theory is proposed to separate the single- and multiple-scattering contributions. The experimental setup uses an array of sources/receivers placed in front of the medium. The impulse responses between every couple of transducers are measured and form a matrix. Single-scattering contributions are shown to exhibit a deterministic coherence along the antidiagonals of the array response matrix, whatever the distribution of inhomogeneities. This property is taken advantage of to discriminate single- from multiple-scattered waves. This allows one to evaluate the absorption losses and the scattering losses separately, by comparing the multiple-scattering intensity with a radiative transfer model. Moreover, the relative contribution of multiple scattering in the backscattered wave can be estimated, which serves as a validity test for the Born approximation. Experimental results are presented with ultrasonic waves in the megahertz range, on a synthetic sample (agar-gelatine gel) as well as on breast tissues. Interestingly, the multiple-scattering contribution is found to be far from negligible in the breast around 4.3 MHz. (C) 2011 Acoustical Society of America. [DOI: 10.1121/1.3506343]

Author-supplied keywords

  • acoustic-waves
  • backscattering
  • cold atoms
  • disordered media
  • light
  • localization
  • near-field
  • optical coherence tomography

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  • A Aubry

  • A Derode

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