Date of Award

Fall 2005

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering - (M.S.)

Department

Biomedical Engineering

First Advisor

Michael Jaffe

Second Advisor

Sanford A. Roth

Third Advisor

Richard A. Foulds

Abstract

Bone fractures are estimated to afflict everyone at least once in his/her lifetime. Monitoring this becomes crucial especially when it comes to athletes in order for them to safely resume their regular activities as soon as possible. Technologies currently employed are either very expensive or use harmful radiation.

Ultrasound can monitor bone fractures in a non-invasive manner, as discussed in United States Patent # 5143069. Three transducers are mounted over the test specimen. A pulse generator excites the transmitting receiver. The second receiver is mounted next to the transmitter and acts as a reference receiver that displays the response across a normal area. The third transducer is mounted across the area suspected to have some defect and acts as the sample receiver to display the response across the discontinuity. Both the received signals are viewed on a dual channel digital oscilloscope, saved onto a diskette and processed for data analysis by quantifying parameters such as flight time and amplitude.

Experiments were conducted on mock bones (wood and metal), cow bone with some meat on it, the human arm and the human tibia. Discontinuity in the first two test specimens resulted in rise in flight time and loss of amplitude. Results from the other three experiments displayed two packets of signals, the first packet corresponding to bone and the second to the soft tissue around it.

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