Ultrasound radiation force for the assessment of bone fracture healing in children: An in vivo pilot study

Siavash Ghavami, Adriana Gregory, Jeremy Webb, Mahdi Bayat, Max Denis, Viksit Kumar, Todd A. Milbrand, A. Noelle Larson, Mostafa Fatemi, Azra Alizad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Vibrational characteristics of bone are directly dependent on its physical properties. In this study, a vibrational method for bone evaluation is introduced. We propose a new type of quantitative vibro-acoustic method based on the acoustic radiation force of ultrasound for bone characterization in persons with fracture. Using this method, we excited the clavicle or ulna by an ultrasound radiation force pulse which induces vibrations in the bone, resulting in an acoustic wave that is measured by a hydrophone placed on the skin. The acoustic signals were used for wave velocity estimation based on a cross-correlation technique. To further separate different vibration characteristics, we adopted a variational mode decomposition technique to decompose the received signal into an ensemble of band-limited intrinsic mode functions, allowing analysis of the acoustic signals by their constitutive components. This prospective study included 15 patients: 12 with clavicle fractures and three with ulna fractures. Contralateral intact bones were used as controls. Statistical analysis demonstrated that fractured bones can be differentiated from intact ones with a detection probability of 80%. Additionally, we introduce a “healing factor” to quantify the bone healing progress which successfully tracked the progress of healing in 80% of the clavicle fractures in the study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number955
JournalSensors (Switzerland)
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2 2019


  • Bone fracture
  • Bone healing
  • Ultrasound radiation force
  • Variational mode decomposition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Information Systems
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biochemistry
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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