Radiation force and shear motions in inhomogeneous media

J Acoust Soc Am. 2007 Mar;121(3):1324-31. doi: 10.1121/1.2532113.


An action of radiation force induced by ultrasonic beam in waterlike media such as biological tissues (where the shear modulus is small as compared to the bulk compressibility) is considered. A new, nondissipative mechanism of generation of shear displacement due to a smooth (nonreflecting) medium inhomogeneity is suggested, and the corresponding medium displacement is evaluated. It is shown that a linear primary acoustic field in nondissipative, isotropic elastic medium cannot excite a nonpotential radiation force and, hence, a shear motion, whereas even smooth inhomogeneity makes this effect possible. An example is considered showing that the generated displacement pulse can be significantly longer than the primary ultrasound pulse. It is noted that, unlike the dissipative effect, the nondissipative action on a localized inhomogeneity (such as a lesion in a tissue) changes its sign along the beam axis, thus stretching or compressing the focus area.