The acoustic radiation force (ARF) is a phenomenon affiliated with the nonlinear effects of high-intensity wave propagation. It represents the mean momentum transfer from the sound wave to the medium, and allows for an effective computation of the mean motion (e.g. acoustic streaming in fluids) induced by a high-intensity sound wave. Nowadays, the high-intensity focused ultrasound is frequently used in medical diagnosis applications due to its ability to "push" inside the tissue with the radiation body force and facilitate the local quantification of tissue's viscoelastic properties.
The main objectives of this study include: i) the theoretical investigation of the ARF in fluids and tissue-like solids generated respectively by the amplitude modulated plane wave and focused ultrasound; ii) computation of the nonlinear acoustic wave propagation when the amplitude of the focused ultrasound field is modulated by a low-frequency signal, and iii) modeling of the ARF-induced motion in tissue-like solids for the purpose of quantifying their nonlinear elasticity via the magnitude of the ARF.
Regarding the first part, a comparison with the existing theory of the ARF reveals a number of key features that are brought to light by the new formulation, including the contributions to the ARF of ultrasound modulation and thermal expansion, as well as the precise role of constitutive nonlinearities in generating the sustained body force in tissue-like solids by a focused ultrasound beam. In the second part, the hybrid time-frequency domain algorithm for the numerical analysis of the nonlinear wave equation is proposed. The approach is validated by comparing the results to the finite-difference modeling in time domain. Regarding the third objective, the Fourier transform approach is used to compute the ARF-induced shear wave motion in tissue-mimicking phantoms. A comparison between the experiment (tests performed at the Mayo Clinic) and model permitted the estimation of a particular coefficient of nonlinear tissue elasticity from the amplitude of the ARF-generated shear waves. For completeness, the ARF estimates of this coefficient are verified via an established technique known as acoustoelasticity.