Advances in the field of laser ultrasonics have opened up new possibilities in medical applications. This paper presents a finite element modelling technique, which studies laser generated surface acoustic waves in different concentration of soft tissue mimicking agar-agar phantoms. In addition, we propose a novel approach that utilises a low coherence interferometer to detect the laser-induced surface acoustic waves from the tissue mimicking phantoms. A Nd:YAG focused laser line-source is applied to the agar-agar phantoms; which as the same with the FE simulation. The generated SAW signals are detected by a time domain low coherence interferometry system. SAW phase velocity dispersion curves from both of the FE simulation and experiment are calculated. By comparison, we show that the experimental results agree well with those of the FE simulation and theoretical expectations. This study is the first report that a laser-generated SAW phase velocity dispersion technique is applied to soft materials. This technique may open a way for laser ultrasonics to detect the mechanical properties of soft tissues, such as skin. Crown Copyright (C) 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Supervisor: Huang, Z. (Supervisor)
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis › Doctor of PhilosophyFile