Osteoporosis is metabolic bone disease leading to be enhanced bone fragility and as a consequence increases in fracture risk. The socio-economic burden of the disease has triggered considerable effort to develop new and cost-effective methods for early detect ion, prevention as well as treatment. Radiation free quantitative ultrasound (QUS) offers the advantage of relatively low cost and portability compared to X-ray densitometry, and is currently considered as the most promising tool for assessment of bone quality. Ultrasonic waves have the potential to assess both mechanical and structural properties of bone as well as their deterioration due to osteoporosis. However, till now, mainly because of the lack of proper theoretical model, it is difficult to use available advanced signal processing techniques to extract of mechano-structural characteristics of cancellous bone.
The scientific aim of the project is to develop and validate theoretical model of propagation of ultrasonic waves in cancellous bone useful in solving direct or inverse problem toward quality assessment of bone. This goal will be achieved by analysis of the data obtained from: synchrotron microtomography (SR-µCT); combined transmission/reflection ultrasonic studies coupled with innovative compute r simulations of wave propagation in real 3D trabecular bone structures reconstructed from SR-µCT and analysis of existing/developed models of propagation of elastic waves in inhomogeneous materials. If successful, in a short-term perspective, it will be possible commercially disseminate the developed model-based methodology into clinical measurements in new versions of QUS devices. Realization of the scientific project will contribute to the fellow professional maturity toward the preparation of habilitation thesis, important scientific degree in Poland, which is essential precondition to organize a research team and draw broader attention of younger researchers to the subject of the proposal.
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