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In IEEE transactions on ultrasonics, ferroelectrics, and frequency control

Ultrasonic guided waves (UGW) propagating in long cortical bone can be measured via the axial transmission method. The characterization of long cortical bone using UGW is a multiparameter inverse problem. The optimal solution of the inverse problem often includes a complex solving process. Deep neural networks (DNNs) are essentially powerful multiparameter predictors based on universal approximation theorem, which are suitable for solving parameter predictions in the inverse problem by constructing the mapping relationship between UGW and cortical bone material parameters. In this study, we investigate the feasibility of applying the multichannel crossed convolutional neural network (MCC-CNN) to simultaneously estimate cortical thickness and bulk velocities (longitudinal and transverse). Unlike the multiparameter estimation in most previous studies, the technique mentioned in this work avoids solving a multiparameter optimization problem directly. The finite-difference time-domain method (FDTD) is performed to obtain the simulated UGW array signals for training the MCC-CNN. The network that is exclusively trained on simulated datasets can predict cortical parameters from the experimental UGW data. The proposed method is confirmed by using FDTD simulation signals and experimental data obtained from four bone-mimicking plates and from ten exvivo bovine cortical bones. The estimated root-mean-squared error (RMSE) in the simulated test data for the longitudinal bulk velocity (VL), transverse bulk velocity (VT), and cortical thickness (Th) is 97 m/s, 53 m/s and 0.089 mm, respectively. The predicted RMSE in the bone-mimicking phantom experiments for VL., VT., and Th is 120 m/s, 80 m/s, and 0.14 mm, respectively. The experimental dispersion trajectories are matched with the theoretical dispersion curves calculated by the predicted parameters in ex-vivo bovine cortical bone experiments. Our proposed method demonstrates a feasible approach for the accurate evaluation of long cortical bones based on UGW.

Li Yifang, Xu Kailiang, Li Ying, Xu Feng, Ta Dean, Wang Weiqi