Quantitative Particle Characterization by Scattered Ultrasound
Roy, Ronald Aurele
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The topic of this thesis is an acoustic scattering technique for detennining the compressibility and density of individual particles. The particles, which have diameters on the order of 10 µm, are modeled as fluid spheres. Ultrasonic tone bursts of 2 µsec duration and 30 MHz center frequency scatter from individual particles as they traverse the focal region of two confocally positioned transducers. One transducer acts as a receiver while the other both transmits and receives acoustic signals. The resulting scattered bursts are detected at 90° and at 180° (backscattered). Using either the long wavelength (Rayleigh) or the weak scatterer (Born) approximations, it is possible to detennine the compressibility and density of the particle provided we possess a priori knowledge of the particle size and the host properties. The detected scattered signals are digitized and stored in computer memory. With this information we can compute the mean compressibility and density averaged over a population of particles ( typically 1000 particles) or display histograms of scattered amplitude statistics. An experiment was run first run to assess the feasibility of using polystyrene polymer microspheres to calibrate the instrument. A second study was performed on the buffy coat harvested from whole human blood. Finally, chinese hamster ovary cells which were subject to hyperthermia treatment were studied in order to see if the instrument could detect heat induced membrane blebbing.