Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The Audible Human Project: Modeling Sound Transmission in the Lungs and Torso
by Dai, Zoujun, Ph.D., University of Illinois at Chicago, 2013, 153; 3574270
Abstract (Summary)

Auscultation has been used qualitatively by physicians for hundreds of years to aid in the monitoring and diagnosis of pulmonary diseases. Alterations in the structure and function of the pulmonary system that occur in disease or injury often give rise to measurable changes in lung sound production and transmission. Numerous acoustic measurements have revealed the differences of breath sounds and transmitted sounds in the lung under normal and pathological conditions. Compared to the extensive cataloging of lung sound measurements, the mechanism of sound transmission in the pulmonary system and how it changes with alterations of lung structural and material properties has received less attention. A better understanding of sound transmission and how it is altered by injury and disease might improve interpretation of lung sound measurements, including new lung imaging modalities that are based on an array measurement of the acoustic field on the torso surface via contact sensors or are based on a 3-dimensional measurement of the acoustic field throughout the lungs and torso using magnetic resonance elastography.

A long-term goal of the Audible Human Project (AHP ) is to develop a computational acoustic model that would accurately simulate generation, transmission and noninvasive measurement of sound and vibration within the pulmonary system and torso caused by both internal (e.g. respiratory function) and external (e.g. palpation) sources. The goals of this dissertation research, fitting within the scope of the AHP, are to develop specific improved theoretical understandings, computational algorithms and experimental methods aimed at transmission and measurement. The research objectives undertaken in this dissertation are as follows. (1) Improve theoretical modeling and experimental identification of viscoelasticity in soft biological tissues. (2) Develop a poroviscoelastic model for lung tissue vibroacoustics. (3) Improve lung airway acoustics modeling and its coupling to the lung parenchyma; and (4) Develop improved techniques in array acoustic measurement on the torso surface of sound transmitted through the pulmonary system and torso.

Tissue Viscoelasticity. Two experimental identification approaches of shear viscoelasticity were used. The first approach is to directly estimate the frequency-dependent surface wave speed and then to optimize the coefficients in an assumed viscoelastic model type. The second approach is to measure the complex-valued frequency response function (FRF) between the excitation location and points at known radial distances. The FRF has embedded in it frequency-dependent information about both surface wave phase speed and attenuation that can be used to directly estimate the complex shear modulus. The coefficients in an assumed viscoelastic tissue model type can then be optimized.

Poroviscoelasticity Model for Lung Vibro-acoustics. A poroviscoelastic model based on Biot theory of wave propagation in porous media was used for compression waves in the lungs. This model predicts a fast compression wave speed close to the one predicted by the effective medium theory at low frequencies and an additional slow compression wave due to the out of phase motion of the air and the lung parenchyma. Both compression wave speeds vary with frequency. The fast compression wave speed and attenuation were measured on an excised pig lung under two different transpulmonary pressures. Good agreement was achieved between the experimental observation and theoretical predictions.

Sound Transmission in Airways and Coupling to Lung Parenchyma. A computer generated airway tree was simplified to 255 segments and integrated into the lung geometry from the Visible Human Male for numerical simulations. Acoustic impedance boundary conditions were applied at the ends of the terminal segments to represent the unmodeled downstream airway segments. Experiments were also carried out on a preserved pig lung and similar trends of lung surface velocity distribution were observed between the experiments and simulations. This approach provides a feasible way of simplifying the airway tree and greatly reduces the computation time.

Acoustic Measurements of Sound Transmission in Human Subjects. Scanning laser Doppler vibrometry (SLDV) was used as a gold standard for transmitted sound measurements on a human subject. A low cost piezodisk sensor array was also constructed as an alternative to SLDV. The advantages and disadvantages of each technique are discussed.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Royston, Thomas
Commitee: Magin, Richard, Mansy, Hansen, Scott, Michael, Shabana, Ahmed
School: University of Illinois at Chicago
Department: Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: DAI-B 75/01(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Biomedical engineering, Mechanical engineering, Acoustics
Keywords: Lung acoustics, Sound transmission, Tissue visco, Torso, Wave propagation
Publication Number: 3574270
ISBN: 978-1-303-49144-3
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