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J Acoust Soc Am. 2016 Sep;140(3):1931.

Differences in acoustic impedance of fresh and embedded human trabecular bone samples-Scanning acoustic microscopy and numerical evaluation.

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Department of Applied Physics, University of Eastern Finland, P.O. Box 1627, FI-70211 Kuopio, Finland.
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Lund University, P.O. Box 118, 221 00 Lund, Sweden.


Trabecular bone samples are traditionally embedded and polished for scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM). The effect of sample processing, including dehydration, on the acoustic impedance of bone is unknown. In this study, acoustic impedance of human trabecular bone samples (n = 8) was experimentally assessed before (fresh) and after embedding using SAM and two-dimensional (2-D) finite-difference time domain simulations. Fresh samples were polished with sandpapers of different grit (P1000, P2500, and P4000). Experimental results indicated that acoustic impedance of samples increased significantly after embedding [mean values 3.7 MRayl (fresh), 6.1 MRayl (embedded), p < 0.001]. After polishing with different papers, no significant changes in acoustic impedance were found, even though higher mean values were detected after polishing with finer (P2500 and P4000) papers. A linear correlation (r = 0.854, p < 0.05) was found between the acoustic impedance values of embedded and fresh bone samples polished using P2500 SiC paper. In numerical simulations dehydration increased the acoustic impedance of trabecular bone (38%), whereas changes in surface roughness of bone had a minor effect on the acoustic impedance (-1.56%/0.1 μm). Thereby, the numerical simulations corroborated the experimental findings. In conclusion, acoustic impedance measurement of fresh trabecular bone is possible and may provide realistic material values similar to those of living bone.


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