Ultrasonic Backscatter Coefficients, Attenuation Coefficients, and Speed of Sound Measurements on Human Colon Carcinoma Cells
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Measuring and analyzing the ultrasonic properties of cancer cells in vitro may identify specific properties of these cells leading to better ultrasound diagnostics. We aim to quantify human colon carcinoma cells through ultrasonic measurements of speed of sound, attenuation coefficients and backscatter coefficients at various frequencies. Measurements were made using single element transducers at frequencies of 5-25MHz in a controlled water-tank environment. Human Colon Carcinoma cells (HCT) were cultured and a pellet made using 1% agar solution. The attenuation, speed of sound and backscatter coefficients were then measured in order to determine quantitative information. For the speed of sound and attenuation experiments, the sample was placed between a transmitting transducer, connected to an amplifier and a function generator, and a receiving transducer connected to an oscilloscope. The amplitude of the wave and the delay time of the pulse were recorded with and without the sample compared to the water only path. The attenuation coefficients and the speed of sound were calculated based on changes in time and wave amplitude due to the presence of the sample. A backscatter experiment from 5-25MHz using a single element focused transducer was also performed. The transducer was connected to a pulser receiver and the output of the pulser receiver connected to an oscilloscope that displayed the transmission of the signal. When the sample was aligned with the transducer, a signal was recorded and the coefficient calculated using Matlab. We are currently working to improve the speed of sound, attenuation, and backscatter data obtained in order to quantify the tissue characteristics of HCT cells. Future directions would include comparing data obtained for HCT cells with other cancer cells as well as against normal human colon cell lines.