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Artificial neural network to estimate micro-architectural properties of cortical bone using ultrasonic attenuation: A 2-D numerical study.

Comput Biol Med. 2019 Sep 20;114:103457 Authors: Mohanty K, Yousefian O, Karbalaeisadegh Y, Ulrich M, Grimal Q, Muller M

The goal of this study is to estimate micro-architectural parameters of cortical porosity such as pore diameter (φ), pore density (ρ) and porosity (ν) of cortical bone from ultrasound frequency dependent attenuation using an artificial neural network (ANN). First, heterogeneous structures with controlled pore diameters and pore densities (mono-disperse) were generated, to mimic simplified structure of cortical bone. Then, more realistic structures were obtained from high resolution CT scans of human cortical bone. 2-D finite-difference time-domain simulations were conducted to calculate the frequency-dependent attenuation in the 1-8 MHz range. An ANN was then trained with the ultrasonic attenuation at different frequencies as the input feature vectors while the output was set as the micro-architectural parameters (pore diameter, pore density and porosity). The ANN is composed of three fully connected dense layers with 24, 12 and 6 neurons, connected to the output layer. The dataset was trained over 6000 epochs with a batch size of 16. The trained ANN exhibits the ability to predict the micro-architectural parameters with high accuracy and low losses. ANN approaches could potentially be used as a tool to help inform physics-based modelling of ultrasound propagation in complex media such as cortical bone. This will lead to the solution of inverse-problems to retrieve bone micro-architectural parameters from ultrasound measurements for the non-invasive diagnosis and monitoring osteoporosis. PMID: 31600691 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]

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