Assessing the proportion of biological cells in a volume of interest undergoing structural changes, such as cell death, using high-frequency ultrasound (20–100 MHz), requires the development of a theoretical model of scattering by any arbitrary cell ensemble. A prerequisite to building such a model is to know the scattering by a single cell in different states. In this paper, a simple model for the high-frequency acoustic scattering by one cell is proposed. A method for deducing the backscatter transfer function from a single, subresolution scatterer is also devised. Using this method, experimental measurements of backscatter from homogeneous, subresolution polystyrene microspheres and single, viable eukaryotic cells, acquired across a broad, continuous range of frequencies were compared with elastic scattering theory and the proposed cell scattering model, respectively. The resonant features observed in the backscatter transfer function of microspheres were found to correspond accurately to theoretical predictions. Using the spacing of the major spectral peaks in the transfer functions obtained experimentally, it is possible to predict microsphere diameters with less than 4% error. Such good agreement was not seen between the cell model and the measured backscatter from cells. Possible reasons for this discrepancy are discussed. ©2005 Acoustical Society of America.
Baddour, RE; Sherar, MD; Hunt, JW; Czarnota, GJ; and Kolios, Michael C., "High-frequency Ultrasound Scattering from Microspheres and Single Cells" (2005). Physics Publications and Research. Paper 2.