Ultrasound
Overview
Ultrasound is cyclic sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 pressure with a frequency
Frequency
Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time. It is also referred to as temporal frequency.The period is the duration of one cycle in a repeating event, so the period is the reciprocal of the frequency...

 greater than the upper limit of human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 hearing
Hearing (sense)
Hearing is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations through an organ such as the ear. It is one of the traditional five senses...

. Ultrasound is thus not separated from "normal" (audible) sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it. Although this limit varies from person to person, it is approximately 20 kilohertz
Hertz
The hertz is the SI unit of frequency defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. One of its most common uses is the description of the sine wave, particularly those used in radio and audio applications....

 (20,000 hertz) in healthy, young adults. The production of ultrasound is used in many different fields, typically to penetrate a medium and measure the reflection signature or supply focused energy.
Encyclopedia
Ultrasound is cyclic sound
Sound
Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

 pressure with a frequency
Frequency
Frequency is the number of occurrences of a repeating event per unit time. It is also referred to as temporal frequency.The period is the duration of one cycle in a repeating event, so the period is the reciprocal of the frequency...

 greater than the upper limit of human
Human
Humans are the only living species in the Homo genus...

 hearing
Hearing (sense)
Hearing is the ability to perceive sound by detecting vibrations through an organ such as the ear. It is one of the traditional five senses...

. Ultrasound is thus not separated from "normal" (audible) sound based on differences in physical properties, only the fact that humans cannot hear it. Although this limit varies from person to person, it is approximately 20 kilohertz
Hertz
The hertz is the SI unit of frequency defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. One of its most common uses is the description of the sine wave, particularly those used in radio and audio applications....

 (20,000 hertz) in healthy, young adults. The production of ultrasound is used in many different fields, typically to penetrate a medium and measure the reflection signature or supply focused energy. The reflection signature can reveal details about the inner structure of the medium, a property also used by animals such as bats for hunting. The most well known application of ultrasound is its use in sonography to produce pictures of fetuses in the human womb. There are a vast number of other applications as well.


Ability to hear ultrasound

The upper frequency limit in humans (approximately 20 kHz) is due to limitations of the middle ear
Middle ear
The middle ear is the portion of the ear internal to the eardrum, and external to the oval window of the cochlea. The mammalian middle ear contains three ossicles, which couple vibration of the eardrum into waves in the fluid and membranes of the inner ear. The hollow space of the middle ear has...

, which acts as a low-pass filter
Low-pass filter
A low-pass filter is an electronic filter that passes low-frequency signals but attenuates signals with frequencies higher than the cutoff frequency. The actual amount of attenuation for each frequency varies from filter to filter. It is sometimes called a high-cut filter, or treble cut filter...

. Ultrasonic hearing
Ultrasonic hearing
Ultrasonic hearing is a recognised auditory effect which allows humans to perceive sounds of a much higher frequency than would ordinarily be audible using the physical inner ear, usually by stimulation of the base of the cochlea through bone conduction...

 can occur if ultrasound is fed directly into the skull bone and reaches the cochlea
Cochlea
The cochlea is the auditory portion of the inner ear. It is a spiral-shaped cavity in the bony labyrinth, making 2.5 turns around its axis, the modiolus....

 through bone conduction
Bone conduction
Bone conduction is the conduction of sound to the inner ear through the bones of the skull.Bone conduction is the reason why a person's voice sounds different to him/her when it is recorded and played back. Because the skull conducts lower frequencies better than air, people perceive their own...

 without passing through the middle ear.

It is a fact in psychoacoustics
Psychoacoustics
Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of sound perception. More specifically, it is the branch of science studying the psychological and physiological responses associated with sound...

 that children can hear some high-pitched sounds that older adults cannot hear, because in humans the upper limit pitch of hearing tends to become lower with age. A cell phone company has used this to create ring signals supposedly only able to be heard by younger humans; but many older people can hear it, which may be due to the considerable variation of age-related deterioration in the upper hearing threshold.

Many animals—such as dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

s, cats, dolphins, bat
Bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

s, and mice
Mouse
A mouse is a small mammal belonging to the order of rodents. The best known mouse species is the common house mouse . It is also a popular pet. In some places, certain kinds of field mice are also common. This rodent is eaten by large birds such as hawks and eagles...

—have an upper frequency limit that is higher than that of the human ear
Ear
The ear is the organ that detects sound. It not only receives sound, but also aids in balance and body position. The ear is part of the auditory system....

 and thus can hear ultrasound. This is why a dog whistle
Dog whistle
A dog whistle is a type of whistle used in the training of dogs and cats. It was invented by Francis Galton. This is discussed quite briefly in his book Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development...

 can be heard by a dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

.

See also The Mosquito
The Mosquito
The Mosquito or Mosquito alarm is an electronic device, used to deter loitering by young people, which emits a sound with a very high frequency...

 (an electronic device used to deter loitering by young people).

Diagnostic sonography


Medical sonography (ultrasonography) is an ultrasound-based diagnostic medical imaging
Medical imaging
Medical imaging is the technique and process used to create images of the human body for clinical purposes or medical science...

 technique used to visualize muscles, tendons, and many internal organs, to capture their size, structure and any pathological lesion
Lesion
A lesion is any abnormality in the tissue of an organism , usually caused by disease or trauma. Lesion is derived from the Latin word laesio which means injury.- Types :...

s with real time tomographic images. Ultrasound has been used by radiologists and sonographer
Sonographer
Sonographers are diagnostic medical professionals who operate ultrasonic imaging devices to produce diagnostic images, scans, videos, or 3D volumes of anatomy and diagnostic data. Sonography requires specialized education and skills to view, analyze and modify the scan to optimize the information...

s to image the human body for at least 50 years and has become one of the most widely used diagnostic tools in modern medicine. The technology is relatively inexpensive and portable, especially when compared with other techniques, such as magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging , nuclear magnetic resonance imaging , or magnetic resonance tomography is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures...

 (MRI) and computed tomography
Computed tomography
X-ray computed tomography or Computer tomography , is a medical imaging method employing tomography created by computer processing...

 (CT). Ultrasound is also used to visualize fetuses during routine and emergency prenatal care
Prenatal care
Prenatal care refers to the medical and nursing care recommended for women before and during pregnancy. The aim of good prenatal care is to detect any potential problems early, to prevent them if possible , and to direct the woman to appropriate specialists, hospitals, etc...

. Such diagnostic applications used during pregnancy
Pregnancy
Pregnancy refers to the fertilization and development of one or more offspring, known as a fetus or embryo, in a woman's uterus. In a pregnancy, there can be multiple gestations, as in the case of twins or triplets...

 are referred to as obstetric sonography
Obstetric ultrasonography
Obstetric sonography is the application of medical ultrasonography to obstetrics, in which sonography is used to visualize the embryo or foetus in its mother's uterus...

.

As currently applied in the medical field, properly performed ultrasound poses no known risks to the patient.
Sonography is generally described as a "safe test" because it does not use mutagenic ionizing radiation, which can pose hazards such as chromosome breakage
Clastogen
A clastogen is a material that can cause breaks in chromosomes, leading to sections of the chromosome being deleted, added, or rearranged. This is a form of mutagenesis, and can lead to carcinogenesis, as cells that are not killed by the clastogenic effect may become cancerous...

 and cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

 development. However, ultrasonic energy has two potential physiological effects: it enhances inflammatory response; and it can heat soft tissue. Ultrasound energy produces a mechanical pressure wave through soft tissue. This pressure wave may cause microscopic bubbles in living tissues and distortion of the cell membrane, influencing ion fluxes
Electrochemical gradient
An electrochemical gradient is a spatial variation of both electrical potential and chemical concentration across a membrane; that is, a combination of the membrane potential and the pH gradient...

 and intracellular
Intracellular
Not to be confused with intercellular, meaning "between cells".In cell biology, molecular biology and related fields, the word intracellular means "inside the cell".It is used in contrast to extracellular...

 activity. When ultrasound enters the body, it causes molecular friction and heats the tissues slightly. This effect is typically very minor as normal tissue perfusion
Perfusion
In physiology, perfusion is the process of nutritive delivery of arterial blood to a capillary bed in the biological tissue. The word is derived from the French verb "perfuser" meaning to "pour over or through."...

 dissipates most of the heat, but with high intensity, it can also cause small pockets of gas in body fluids or tissues to expand and contract/collapse in a phenomenon called cavitation
Cavitation
Cavitation is the formation and then immediate implosion of cavities in a liquidi.e. small liquid-free zones that are the consequence of forces acting upon the liquid...

; however this is not known to occur at diagnostic power levels used by modern diagnostic ultrasound units.

In 2008, the AIUM published a 130-page report titled "American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine Consensus Report on Potential Bioeffects of Diagnostic Ultrasound" stating that there are indeed some potential risks to administering ultrasound tests, which include "postnatal thermal effects, fetal thermal effects, postnatal mechanical effects, fetal mechanical effects, and bioeffects considerations for ultrasound contrast agents." The long-term effects of tissue heating and cavitation have shown decreases in the size of red blood cells in cattle when exposed to intensities higher than diagnostic levels. However, long term effects due to ultrasound exposure at diagnostic intensity is still unknown.

There are several studies that indicate harmful side effects on animal fetuses associated with the use of sonography on pregnant mammals. A Yale
YALE
RapidMiner, formerly YALE , is an environment for machine learning, data mining, text mining, predictive analytics, and business analytics. It is used for research, education, training, rapid prototyping, application development, and industrial applications...

 study in 2006 suggested exposure to ultrasound affects fetal brain development in mice. A typical fetal scan, including evaluation for fetal malformations, typically takes 10–30 minutes. The study showed that rodent brain cell
Brain Cell
Brain Cell is a mail art project begun by Ryosuke Cohen in June 1985. The project is basically a networked art project where individual artists create their own 30x42cm work of art with stamps, drawings, stickers and so forth. This is sent to Cohen, who prints each cell - 150 copies each - with a...

s failed to migrate to their proper positions and remained scattered in incorrect parts of the brain. This misplacement of brain cells during their development is linked to disorders ranging from "mental retardation and childhood epilepsy to developmental dyslexia, autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia." However, this effect was only detectable after 30 minutes of continuous scanning. No link has yet been made between the test results on animals such as mice and the possible effects on humans. Although the possibility exists that biological effects on humans may be identified in the future, currently most doctors feel that based on available information the benefits to patients outweigh the risks. The ALARA (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) principle has been advocated for an ultrasound examination — that is, keeping the scanning time and power settings as low as possible but consistent with diagnostic imaging — and that by that principle non-medical uses, which by definition are not necessary, are actively discouraged.

Obstetric ultrasound can be used to identify many conditions that would be harmful to the mother and the baby. Many health care professionals consider the risk of leaving these conditions undiagnosed to be much greater than the very small risk, if any, associated with undergoing an ultrasound scan. According to Cochrane Review, routine ultrasound in early pregnancy (less than 24 weeks) appears to enable better gestational age assessment, earlier detection of multiple pregnancies and earlier detection of clinically unsuspected fetal malformation at a time when termination of pregnancy is possible.

Sonography is used routinely in obstetric appointments during pregnancy, but the FDA discourages its use for non-medical purposes such as fetal keepsake videos and photos, even though it is the same technology used in hospitals.

Obstetric ultrasound is primarily used to:
  • Date the pregnancy (gestational age
    Gestational age
    Gestational age relates to the age of an embryo or fetus . There is some ambiguity in how it is defined:*In embryology, gestational age is the time elapsed since conception. This interval is also termed fertilisation age....

    )
  • Confirm fetal viability
  • Determine location of fetus
    Fetus
    A fetus is a developing mammal or other viviparous vertebrate after the embryonic stage and before birth.In humans, the fetal stage of prenatal development starts at the beginning of the 11th week in gestational age, which is the 9th week after fertilization.-Etymology and spelling variations:The...

    , intrauterine vs ectopic
    Ectopic pregnancy
    An ectopic pregnancy, or eccysis , is a complication of pregnancy in which the embryo implants outside the uterine cavity. With rare exceptions, ectopic pregnancies are not viable. Furthermore, they are dangerous for the parent, since internal haemorrhage is a life threatening complication...

  • Check the location of the placenta in relation to the cervix
  • Check for the number of fetuses (multiple pregnancy)
  • Check for major physical abnormalities.
  • Assess fetal growth (for evidence of intrauterine growth restriction
    Intrauterine growth restriction
    Intrauterine growth restriction refers to poor growth of a baby while in the mother's womb during pregnancy. The causes can be many, but most often involve poor maternal nutrition or lack of adequate oxygen supply to the fetus....

     (IUGR))
  • Check for fetal movement and heartbeat.
  • Determine the sex of the baby


Unfortunately, results are occasionally wrong, producing a false positive (the Cochrane Collaboration
Cochrane Collaboration
The Cochrane Collaboration is a group of over 28,000 volunteers in more than 100 countries who review the effects of health care interventions tested in biomedical randomized controlled trials. A few more recent reviews have also studied the results of non-randomized, observational studies...

 is a relevant effort to improve the reliability of health care trials). False detection may result in patients being warned of birth defects when no such defect exists. Sex determination is only accurate after 12 weeks gestation. When balancing risk and reward, there are recommendations to avoid the use of routine ultrasound for low risk pregnancies. In many countries ultrasound is used routinely in the management of all pregnancies.

According to the European Committee of Medical Ultrasound Safety (ECMUS)
"Ultrasonic examinations should only be performed by competent personnel who are trained and updated in safety matters. Ultrasound produces heating, pressure changes and mechanical disturbances in tissue. Diagnostic levels of ultrasound can produce temperature rises that are hazardous to sensitive organs and the embryo/fetus. Biological effects of non-thermal origin have been reported in animals but, to date, no such effects have been demonstrated in humans, except when a microbubble contrast agent is present." Nonetheless, care should be taken to use low power settings and avoid pulsed wave scanning of the fetal brain unless specifically indicated in high risk pregnancies.

It should be noted that obstetrics is not the only use of ultrasound. Soft tissue imaging of many other parts of the body is conducted with ultrasound. Other scans routinely conducted are cardiac, renal, liver and gallbladder (hepatic). Other common applications include musculo-skeletal imaging of muscles, ligaments and tendons, ophthalmic
Ophthalmology
Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye. An ophthalmologist is a specialist in medical and surgical eye problems...

 ultrasound (eye) scans and superficial structures such as testicle
Testicle
The testicle is the male gonad in animals. Like the ovaries to which they are homologous, testes are components of both the reproductive system and the endocrine system...

, thyroid
Thyroid
The thyroid gland or simply, the thyroid , in vertebrate anatomy, is one of the largest endocrine glands. The thyroid gland is found in the neck, below the thyroid cartilage...

, salivary glands and lymph nodes. Because of the real time nature of ultrasound, it is often used to guide interventional procedures such as fine needle aspiration FNA or biopsy
Biopsy
A biopsy is a medical test involving sampling of cells or tissues for examination. It is the medical removal of tissue from a living subject to determine the presence or extent of a disease. The tissue is generally examined under a microscope by a pathologist, and can also be analyzed chemically...

 of masses for cytology
Cell biology
Cell biology is a scientific discipline that studies cells – their physiological properties, their structure, the organelles they contain, interactions with their environment, their life cycle, division and death. This is done both on a microscopic and molecular level...

 or histology
Histology
Histology is the study of the microscopic anatomy of cells and tissues of plants and animals. It is performed by examining cells and tissues commonly by sectioning and staining; followed by examination under a light microscope or electron microscope...

 testing in the breast, thyroid, liver, kidney, lymph nodes, muscles and joints.

Ultrasound scanners have different Doppler-techniques to visualize arteries and veins. The most common is colour doppler or power doppler, but also other techniques like b-flow are used to show bloodflow in an organ. By using pulsed wave doppler or continuous wave doppler bloodflow velocities can be calculated.

Figures released for the period 2005–2006 by UK Government (Department of Health) show that non-obstetric ultrasound examinations constituted more than 65% of the total number of ultrasound scans conducted.

Ultrasound is also increasingly being used in trauma and first aid cases, with emergency ultrasound
Emergency ultrasound
Emergency ultrasound is the specialized application of point of care ultrasound by emergency physicians in an emergency department.- Emergency department ultrasound versus radiology ultrasound :...

 becoming a staple of most EMT response teams. Furthermore, ultrasound is used in remote diagnosis cases where teleconsultation is required, such as scientific experiments in space or mobile sports team diagnosis.

Non-invasive sensor

Ultrasonic technology has the advantage of no direct contact between the contents of a vessel, tube or other materials. Various technologies exist including continuous wave and pulsed. For many processes in the medical, pharmaceutical, military and general industries this is an advantage over inline sensors that may contaminate the liquids inside a vessel or tube.
The principle behind a Pulsed-Ultrasonic technology is that the transmit signal consists of short bursts of ultrasonic energy. After each burst, the electronics looks for a return signal within a small window of time corresponding to the time it takes for the energy to pass through the vessel. Only signal received during this window period will qualify for additional signal processing. The dry signal will not be received within this window, and therefore will be ignored.

Horses

Diagnostic ultrasound is used externally in the equine for evaluation of soft tissue and tendon injuries, and internally in particular for reproductive work – evaluation of the reproductive tract of the mare and pregnancy detection. It may also be used in an external manner in stallions for evaluation of testicular condition and diameter as well as internally for reproductive evaluation (deferent duct etc.).

Cattle

Starting at the turn of the century, ultrasound technology began to be used by the beef cattle
Cattle
Cattle are the most common type of large domesticated ungulates. They are a prominent modern member of the subfamily Bovinae, are the most widespread species of the genus Bos, and are most commonly classified collectively as Bos primigenius...

 industry to improve animal health and the yield of cattle operations. Ultrasound is used to evaluate fat thickness, rib eye area, and intramuscular fat in living animals. It is also used to evaluate the health and characteristics of unborn calves.

Ultrasound technology provides a means for cattle producers to obtain information that can be used to improve the breeding and husbandry of cattle. The technology can be expensive, and it requires a substantial time commitment for continuous data collection and operator training. Nevertheless, this technology has proven useful in managing and running a cattle breeding operation.

Biomedical ultrasonic applications

Ultrasound also has therapeutic applications, which can be highly beneficial when used with dosage precautions:
  • According to RadiologyInfo, ultrasounds are useful in the detection of pelvic abnormalities and can involve techniques known as abdominal
    Abdomen
    In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen constitutes the part of the body between the thorax and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity...

     (transabdominal) ultrasound, vagina
    Vagina
    The vagina is a fibromuscular tubular tract leading from the uterus to the exterior of the body in female placental mammals and marsupials, or to the cloaca in female birds, monotremes, and some reptiles. Female insects and other invertebrates also have a vagina, which is the terminal part of the...

    l (transvaginal or endovaginal) ultrasound in women, and also rectal
    Rectum
    The rectum is the final straight portion of the large intestine in some mammals, and the gut in others, terminating in the anus. The human rectum is about 12 cm long...

     (transrectal) ultrasound in men.
  • Focused high-energy ultrasound pulses can be used to break calculi such as kidney stones and gallstones into fragments small enough to be passed from the body without undue difficulty, a process known as lithotripsy.
  • Using therapeutic ultrasound
    Therapeutic ultrasound
    Therapeutic ultrasound refers generally to any type of procedure that uses ultrasound for therapeutic benefit. This includes HIFU, lithotripsy, targeted ultrasounddrug delivery, trans-dermal ultrasound drug delivery, ultrasound hemostasis, and ultrasound assisted thrombolysis.-Physical...

     to ablate
    Ablation
    Ablation is removal of material from the surface of an object by vaporization, chipping, or other erosive processes. This occurs in spaceflight during ascent and atmospheric reentry, glaciology, medicine, and passive fire protection.-Spaceflight:...

     tumors or other tissue non-invasively. This is accomplished using a technique known as High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU), also called focused ultrasound surgery (FUS). In this procedure, a generally lower frequencies than medical diagnostic ultrasound is used (250–2000 kHz), but significantly higher time-averaged intensities. The treatment is often guided by Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
    Magnetic resonance imaging
    Magnetic resonance imaging , nuclear magnetic resonance imaging , or magnetic resonance tomography is a medical imaging technique used in radiology to visualize detailed internal structures...

    ; the combination is then referred to as Magnetic resonance-guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS).
  • Delivering chemotherapy to brain cancer cells and various drugs to other tissues is called acoustic targeted drug delivery
    Acoustic Targeted Drug Delivery
    Acoustic targeted drug delivery is a method that uses ultrasound energy to enhance the transport of molecules into and/or across specific tissues...

     (ATDD). These procedures generally use high frequency ultrasound (1–10 MHz) and a range of intensities (0–20 W/cm2). The acoustic energy is focused on the tissue of interest to agitate its matrix and make it more permeable for therapeutic drugs.

  • Using therapeutic ultrasound
    Therapeutic ultrasound
    Therapeutic ultrasound refers generally to any type of procedure that uses ultrasound for therapeutic benefit. This includes HIFU, lithotripsy, targeted ultrasounddrug delivery, trans-dermal ultrasound drug delivery, ultrasound hemostasis, and ultrasound assisted thrombolysis.-Physical...

     to generate cellular effects in soft tissue. This particular application has fallen out of favor as research has shown a lack of efficacy and a lack of scientific basis for proposed biophysical effects. Ultrasound has been used in cancer treatment
    Experimental cancer treatment
    Experimental cancer treatments are medical therapies intended or claimed to treat cancer by improving on, supplementing or replacing conventional methods ....

    .
  • Cleaning teeth in dental hygiene
    Dental hygienist
    thumb|right|300px|Dental hygienist holding a scalerA dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional who specializes in preventive oral health, typically focusing on techniques in oral hygiene. Local dental regulations determine the scope of practice of dental hygienists...

    .
  • Focused ultrasound sources may be used for cataract
    Cataract
    A cataract is a clouding that develops in the crystalline lens of the eye or in its envelope, varying in degree from slight to complete opacity and obstructing the passage of light...

     treatment by phacoemulsification
    Phacoemulsification
    Phacoemulsification refers to modern cataract surgery in which the eye's internal lens is emulsified with an ultrasonic handpiece and aspirated from the eye...

    .
  • Additional physiological effects of low-intensity ultrasound have recently been discovered, e.g. the ability to stimulate bone-growth and its potential to disrupt the blood-brain barrier
    Blood-brain barrier
    The blood–brain barrier is a separation of circulating blood and the brain extracellular fluid in the central nervous system . It occurs along all capillaries and consists of tight junctions around the capillaries that do not exist in normal circulation. Endothelial cells restrict the diffusion...

     for drug delivery.
  • Ultrasound is essential to the procedures of ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy
    Sclerotherapy
    Sclerotherapy is a procedure used to treat blood vessels or blood vessel malformations and also those of the lymphatic system. A medicine is injected into the vessels, which makes them shrink. It is used for children and young adults with vascular or lymphatic malformations...

     and endovenous laser treatment
    Endovenous laser treatment
    Endovenous laser treatment is a minimally invasive ultrasound-guided technique used for treating varicose veins using laser energy.-Methods:...

     for the non-surgical treatment of varicose veins.
  • Ultrasound-assisted lipectomy is lipectomy assisted by ultrasound. Liposuction
    Liposuction
    Liposuction, also known as lipoplasty , liposculpture suction lipectomy or simply lipo is a cosmetic surgery operation that removes fat from many different sites on the human body...

     can also be assisted by ultrasound.
  • Doppler ultrasound is being tested for use in aiding tissue plasminogen activator
    Tissue plasminogen activator
    Tissue plasminogen activator is a protein involved in the breakdown of blood clots. It is a serine protease found on endothelial cells, the cells that line the blood vessels. As an enzyme, it catalyzes the conversion of plasminogen to plasmin, the major enzyme responsible for clot breakdown...

     treatment in stroke
    Stroke
    A stroke, previously known medically as a cerebrovascular accident , is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to disturbance in the blood supply to the brain. This can be due to ischemia caused by blockage , or a hemorrhage...

     sufferers in the procedure called ultrasound-enhanced systemic thrombolysis
    Ultrasound-Enhanced Systemic Thrombolysis
    Ultrasound-Enhanced Systemic Thrombolysis is a medical technology that utilizes transcranial doppler ultrasonography to treat stroke-causing blood clots...

    .
  • Low intensity pulsed ultrasound
    Low intensity pulsed ultrasound
    Low intensity pulsed ultrasound is a medical technology, generally utilizing 1.5 MHz frequency pulses, with a pulse width of 200 μs, repeated at 1 kHz, at an intensity of 30 mW/cm2, 20 minutes/day.Applications of LIPUS include:...

     is used for therapeutic tooth and bone regeneration.
  • Ultrasound can also be used for elastography
    Elastography
    Elastography is a non-invasive method in which stiffness or strain images of soft tissue are used to detect or classify tumors. A tumor or a suspicious cancerous growth is normally 5-28 times stiffer than the background of normal soft tissue. When a mechanical compression or vibration is applied,...

    . This can be useful in medical diagnoses, as elasticity can discern healthy from unhealthy tissue for specific organs/growths. In some cases unhealthy tissue may have a lower system Q
    Q factor
    In physics and engineering the quality factor or Q factor is a dimensionless parameter that describes how under-damped an oscillator or resonator is, or equivalently, characterizes a resonator's bandwidth relative to its center frequency....

    , meaning that the system acts more like a large heavy spring as compared to higher values of system Q (healthy tissue) that respond to higher forcing frequencies. Ultrasonic elastography is different from conventional ultrasound, as a transceiver (pair) and a transmitter are used instead of only a transceiver. One transducer
    Transducer
    A transducer is a device that converts one type of energy to another. Energy types include electrical, mechanical, electromagnetic , chemical, acoustic or thermal energy. While the term transducer commonly implies the use of a sensor/detector, any device which converts energy can be considered a...

     acts as both the transmitter and receiver to image the region of interest over time. The extra transmitter is a very low frequency transmitter, and perturbs the system so the unhealthy tissue oscillates at a low frequency and the healthy tissue does not. The transceiver, which operates at a high frequency (typically MHz) then measures the displacement of the unhealthy tissue (oscillating at a much lower frequency). The movement of the slowly oscillating tissue is used to determine the elasticity of the material, which can then be used to distinguish healthy tissue from the unhealthy tissue.
  • Ultrasound has been shown to act synergistically with antibiotics in killing bacteria.
  • Ultrasound has been postulated to allow thicker eukaryotic cell tissue cultures by promoting nutrient penetration.
  • Ultrasound in the low MHz range in the form of standing wave
    Standing wave
    In physics, a standing wave – also known as a stationary wave – is a wave that remains in a constant position.This phenomenon can occur because the medium is moving in the opposite direction to the wave, or it can arise in a stationary medium as a result of interference between two waves traveling...

    s is an emerging tool for contactless separation, concentration and manipulation of microparticles and biological cells
    Cell (biology)
    The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing, and is often called the building block of life. The Alberts text discusses how the "cellular building blocks" move to shape developing embryos....

    , a method referred to as acoustophoresis. The basis is the acoustic radiation force, a non-linear effect which causes particles to be attracted to either the nodes
    Node (physics)
    A node is a point along a standing wave where the wave has minimal amplitude. For instance, in a vibrating guitar string, the ends of the string are nodes. By changing the position of the end node through frets, the guitarist changes the effective length of the vibrating string and thereby the...

     or anti-nodes
    Node (physics)
    A node is a point along a standing wave where the wave has minimal amplitude. For instance, in a vibrating guitar string, the ends of the string are nodes. By changing the position of the end node through frets, the guitarist changes the effective length of the vibrating string and thereby the...

     of the standing wave depending on the acoustic contrast factor
    Acoustic contrast factor
    The acoustic contrast factor is a number used to describe the relationship between the densities and the sound velocities of two media...

    , which is a function
    Function (mathematics)
    In mathematics, a function associates one quantity, the argument of the function, also known as the input, with another quantity, the value of the function, also known as the output. A function assigns exactly one output to each input. The argument and the value may be real numbers, but they can...

     of the sound velocities and densities
    Density
    The mass density or density of a material is defined as its mass per unit volume. The symbol most often used for density is ρ . In some cases , density is also defined as its weight per unit volume; although, this quantity is more properly called specific weight...

     of the particle and of the medium in which the particle is immersed.
  • Ultrasound laboratory research based on clinically diagnostic systems is a popular way of making use of a real-time, lower cost (in comparison to MRI and CT) imaging modality for study of biomedical applications and image processing techniques. The ultrasound research interface
    Ultrasound Research Interface
    An ultrasound research interface is a software tool loaded onto a diagnostic clinical ultrasound device which provides functionality beyond typical clinical modes of operation. Before an ultrasound image can be displayed to the user, it must undergo a series of transformations, typically referred...

     is a tool that bridges the gap between useful laboratory equipment and a clinical device, and can be used to collect raw data for external or real-time analysis using special algorithms and protocols.

Industrial ultrasound

Ultrasonic testing is a type of nondestructive testing
Nondestructive testing
Nondestructive testing or Non-destructive testing is a wide group of analysis techniques used in science and industry to evaluate the properties of a material, component or system without causing damage....

 commonly used to find flaws in materials and to measure the thickness of objects. Frequencies of 2 to 10 MHz are common but for special purposes other frequencies are used. Inspection may be manual or automated and is an essential part of modern manufacturing processes. Most metal
Metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

s can be inspected as well as plastics and aerospace
Aerospace
Aerospace comprises the atmosphere of Earth and surrounding space. Typically the term is used to refer to the industry that researches, designs, manufactures, operates, and maintains vehicles moving through air and space...

 composites
Composite material
Composite materials, often shortened to composites or called composition materials, are engineered or naturally occurring materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties which remain separate and distinct at the macroscopic or...

. Lower frequency ultrasound (50–500 kHz) can also be used to inspect less dense materials such as wood
Wood
Wood is a hard, fibrous tissue found in many trees. It has been used for hundreds of thousands of years for both fuel and as a construction material. It is an organic material, a natural composite of cellulose fibers embedded in a matrix of lignin which resists compression...

, concrete
Concrete
Concrete is a composite construction material, composed of cement and other cementitious materials such as fly ash and slag cement, aggregate , water and chemical admixtures.The word concrete comes from the Latin word...

 and cement
Cement
In the most general sense of the word, a cement is a binder, a substance that sets and hardens independently, and can bind other materials together. The word "cement" traces to the Romans, who used the term opus caementicium to describe masonry resembling modern concrete that was made from crushed...

.

Ultrasound can also be used for heat transfer in liquids. Researchers recently employed ultrasound in dry corn milling plant to enhance ethanol production.

Ultrasonic manipulation and characterization of particles

A researcher at the Industrial Materials Research Institute, Alessandro Malutta, devised an experiment that demonstrated the trapping action of ultrasonic standing waves on wood pulp fibers diluted in water and their parallel orienting into the equidistant pressure planes. The time to orient the fibers in equidistant planes is measured with a laser and an electro-optical sensor. This could provide the paper industry a quick on-line fiber size measurement system. A somewhat different implementation was demonstrated at Pennsylvania State University using a microchip which generated a pair of perpendicular standing surface acoustic waves allowing to position particles equidistant to each other on a grid. This experiment, called "acoustic tweezers", can be used for applications in material sciences, biology, physics, chemistry and nanotechnology.

Ultrasonic cleaning

Ultrasonic cleaners, sometimes mistakenly called supersonic
Supersonic
Supersonic speed is a rate of travel of an object that exceeds the speed of sound . For objects traveling in dry air of a temperature of 20 °C this speed is approximately 343 m/s, 1,125 ft/s, 768 mph or 1,235 km/h. Speeds greater than five times the speed of sound are often...

 cleaners
, are used at frequencies from 20 to 40 kHz
Hertz
The hertz is the SI unit of frequency defined as the number of cycles per second of a periodic phenomenon. One of its most common uses is the description of the sine wave, particularly those used in radio and audio applications....

 for jewellery
Jewellery
Jewellery or jewelry is a form of personal adornment, such as brooches, rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.With some exceptions, such as medical alert bracelets or military dog tags, jewellery normally differs from other items of personal adornment in that it has no other purpose than to...

, lenses
Lens (optics)
A lens is an optical device with perfect or approximate axial symmetry which transmits and refracts light, converging or diverging the beam. A simple lens consists of a single optical element...

 and other optical parts, watch
Watch
A watch is a small timepiece, typically worn either on the wrist or attached on a chain and carried in a pocket, with wristwatches being the most common type of watch used today. They evolved in the 17th century from spring powered clocks, which appeared in the 15th century. The first watches were...

es, dental instrument
Dentistry
Dentistry is the branch of medicine that is involved in the study, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases, disorders and conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body. Dentistry is widely considered...

s, surgical instruments, diving regulator
Diving regulator
A diving regulator is a pressure regulator used in scuba or surface supplied diving equipment that reduces pressurized breathing gas to ambient pressure and delivers it to the diver. The gas may be air or one of a variety of specially blended breathing gases...

s and industrial
Industry
Industry refers to the production of an economic good or service within an economy.-Industrial sectors:There are four key industrial economic sectors: the primary sector, largely raw material extraction industries such as mining and farming; the secondary sector, involving refining, construction,...

 parts. An ultrasonic cleaner works mostly by energy released from the collapse of millions of microscopic cavitation
Cavitation
Cavitation is the formation and then immediate implosion of cavities in a liquidi.e. small liquid-free zones that are the consequence of forces acting upon the liquid...

s near the dirty surface. The bubbles made by cavitation collapse forming tiny jets directed at the surface.

Ultrasonic disintegration

Similar to ultrasonic cleaning, biological cell
Cell (biology)
The cell is the basic structural and functional unit of all known living organisms. It is the smallest unit of life that is classified as a living thing, and is often called the building block of life. The Alberts text discusses how the "cellular building blocks" move to shape developing embryos....

s including bacteria
Bacteria
Bacteria are a large domain of prokaryotic microorganisms. Typically a few micrometres in length, bacteria have a wide range of shapes, ranging from spheres to rods and spirals...

 can be disintegrated. High power ultrasound produces cavitation
Cavitation
Cavitation is the formation and then immediate implosion of cavities in a liquidi.e. small liquid-free zones that are the consequence of forces acting upon the liquid...

 that facilitates particle disintegration or reactions. This has uses in biological science
Biology
Biology is a natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, origin, evolution, distribution, and taxonomy. Biology is a vast subject containing many subdivisions, topics, and disciplines...

 for analytical or chemical purposes (sonication
Sonication
thumb|right|A sonicator at the [[Weizmann Institute of Science]] during sonicationSonication is the act of applying sound energy to agitate particles in a sample, for various purposes. In the laboratory, it is usually applied using an ultrasonic bath or an ultrasonic probe, colloquially known as...

 and sonoporation
Sonoporation
Sonoporation, or cellular sonication, is the use of sound for modifying the permeability of the cell plasma membrane. This technique is usually used in molecular biology and non-viral gene therapy in order to allow uptake of large molecules such as DNA into the cell, in a cell disruption process...

) and in killing bacteria in sewage
Sewage
Sewage is water-carried waste, in solution or suspension, that is intended to be removed from a community. Also known as wastewater, it is more than 99% water and is characterized by volume or rate of flow, physical condition, chemical constituents and the bacteriological organisms that it contains...

. High power ultrasound can disintegrate corn slurry and enhance liquefaction and saccharification for higher ethanol yield in dry corn milling plants.

Ultrasonic humidifier

The ultrasonic humidifier
Humidifier
A humidifier is a household appliance that increases humidity in a single room or in the entire house. There are point-of-use humidifiers, which are commonly used to humidify a single room, and whole-house or furnace humidifiers, which connect to a home's HVAC system to provide humidity to the...

, one type of nebulizer
Nebulizer
In medicine, a nebulizer is a device used to administer medication in the form of a mist inhaled into the lungs....

 (a device that creates a very fine spray), is a popular type of humidifier. It works by vibrating a metal plate at ultrasonic frequencies to nebulize (sometimes incorrectly called "atomize") the water. Because the water is not heated for evaporation, it produces a cool mist. The ultrasonic pressure waves nebulize not only the water but also materials in the water including calcium, other minerals, viruses, fungi, bacteria, and other impurities. Illness caused by impurities that reside in a humidifier's reservoir fall under the heading of "Humidifier Fever".

Ultrasonic humidifiers are frequently used in aeroponics
Aeroponics
Aeroponics is the process of growing plants in an air or mist environment without the use of soil or an aggregate medium . The word "aeroponic" is derived from the Greek meanings of aero- and ponos . Aeroponic culture differs from both conventional hydroponics and in-vitro growing...

, where they are generally referred to as fogger
Fogger
A fogger is any device that creates a fog, typically containing an insecticide for killing insects and other arthropods. Foggers are often used by consumers as a low cost alternative to professional pest control services. The number of foggers needed for pest control depends on the size of the...

s.

Ultrasound Identification (USID)

Ultrasound Identification
Ultrasound Identification
Ultrasound Identification is a real-time locating system or indoor positioning system technology used to automatically determine and identify the location of objects with room accuracy....

 (USID) is a Real Time Locating System (RTLS) or Indoor Positioning System
Indoor Positioning System
An indoor positioning system is a term used for a network of devices used to wirelessly locate objects or people inside a building. Generally the products offered under this term do not comply with the International standard ISO/IEC 24730 on real-time locating systems . There is currently no de...

 (IPS) technology used to automatically track and identify the location of objects in real time using simple, inexpensive nodes (badges/tags) attached to or embedded in objects and devices, which then transmit an ultrasound signal to communicate their location to microphone sensors.

Ultrasonic welding

In ultrasonic welding of plastics, high frequency (15 kHz to 40 kHz ) low amplitude vibration is used to create heat by way of friction between the materials to be joined. The interface of the two parts is specially designed to concentrate the energy for the maximum weld strength.

Ultrasound and animals

Bats

Bat
Bat
Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera "hand" and pteron "wing") whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. By contrast, other mammals said to fly, such as flying squirrels, gliding possums, and colugos, glide rather than fly,...

s use a variety of ultrasonic ranging (echolocation
Animal echolocation
Echolocation, also called biosonar, is the biological sonar used by several kinds of animals.Echolocating animals emit calls out to the environment and listen to the echoes of those calls that return from various objects near them. They use these echoes to locate and identify the objects...

) techniques to detect their prey. They can detect frequencies beyond 100 kHz, possibly up to 200 kHz.

Insects

Many insects have good ultrasonic hearing and most of these are nocturnal insects listening for echolocating
Echolocation
Echolocation may refer to:* Acoustic location, the general use of sound to locate objects* Animal echolocation, non-human animals emitting sound waves and listening to the echo in order to locate objects or navigate...

 bats
Bats
A bat is a flying mammal in the Chiroptera order.Bats may also refer to:-Films:*Bats , starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Bob Gunton*Bats: Human Harvest -Groups:...

. This includes many groups of moth
Moth
A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly, both being of the order Lepidoptera. Moths form the majority of this order; there are thought to be 150,000 to 250,000 different species of moth , with thousands of species yet to be described...

s, beetles, praying mantids and lacewings. Upon hearing a bat
Bats
A bat is a flying mammal in the Chiroptera order.Bats may also refer to:-Films:*Bats , starring Lou Diamond Phillips and Bob Gunton*Bats: Human Harvest -Groups:...

 the insects will make evasive manoeuvres to escape being caught by the bat. Ultrasonic frequencies trigger a reflex action in the noctuid moth that cause it to drop a few inches in its flight to evade attack.

Tiger moth
Arctiidae
Arctiidae is a large and diverse family of moths with around 11,000 species found all over the world, including 6,000 neotropical species. This family includes the groups commonly known as tiger moths , which usually have bright colours, footmen , lichen moths and wasp moths...

s also emit clicks which may disturb bats' echolocation, but may also in other cases evade being eaten by advertising the fact that they are poisonous by emitting sound.

Ultrasound generator/speaker systems are sold with claims that they frighten away rodent
Rodent
Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing....

s and insect
Insect
Insects are a class of living creatures within the arthropods that have a chitinous exoskeleton, a three-part body , three pairs of jointed legs, compound eyes, and two antennae...

s, but there is no scientific evidence that the devices work. Ultrasonic frequencies trigger a reflex action in the noctuid moth that cause it to drop a few inches in its flight to evade attack.

Dogs


Dog
Dog
The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

s can hear sound at higher frequencies than humans can. A dog whistle
Dog whistle
A dog whistle is a type of whistle used in the training of dogs and cats. It was invented by Francis Galton. This is discussed quite briefly in his book Inquiries into Human Faculty and its Development...

 exploits this by emitting a high frequency sound to call to a dog. Many dog whistles emit sound in the upper audible range of humans, but some, such as the silent whistle, emit ultrasound at a frequency in the range 18–22 kHz.

Dolphins and whales

It is well known that toothed whales (Odontocetes), including dolphins can hear ultrasound and use ultrasonic sounds in their navigational system (biosonar) to orient and capture prey. Porpoises have the highest known upper hearing limit, at around 160 kHz.

Fish

Several types of fish can detect ultrasound. In the order Clupeiformes
Clupeiformes
Clupeiformes is the order of ray-finned fish that includes the herring family, Clupeidae, and the anchovy family, Engraulidae. The group includes many of the most important food fish....

, members of the subfamily Alosinae (shad
Shad
The shads or river herrings comprise the genus Alosa, fish related to herring in the family Clupeidae. They are distinct from others in that family by having a deeper body and spawning in rivers. The several species frequent different areas on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean, Mediterranean Sea....

), have been shown to be able to detect sounds up to 180 kHz, while the other subfamilies (e.g. herring
Herring
Herring is an oily fish of the genus Clupea, found in the shallow, temperate waters of the North Pacific and the North Atlantic oceans, including the Baltic Sea. Three species of Clupea are recognized. The main taxa, the Atlantic herring and the Pacific herring may each be divided into subspecies...

s) can hear only up to 4 kHz.

Sonochemistry

Power ultrasound in the 20–100 kHz range is used in chemistry
Chemistry
Chemistry is the science of matter, especially its chemical reactions, but also its composition, structure and properties. Chemistry is concerned with atoms and their interactions with other atoms, and particularly with the properties of chemical bonds....

. The ultrasound does not interact directly with molecule
Molecule
A molecule is an electrically neutral group of at least two atoms held together by covalent chemical bonds. Molecules are distinguished from ions by their electrical charge...

s to induce the chemical change, as its typical wavelength (in the millimeter range) is too long compared to the molecules. Instead:
  • It causes cavitation
    Cavitation
    Cavitation is the formation and then immediate implosion of cavities in a liquidi.e. small liquid-free zones that are the consequence of forces acting upon the liquid...

     which causes local extremes of temperature and pressure in the liquid where the reaction happens.
  • It breaks up solids and removes passivating
    Passivation
    Passivation is the process of making a material "passive", and thus less reactive with surrounding air, water, or other gases or liquids. The goal is to inhibit corrosion, whether for structural or cosmetic reasons. Passivation of metals is usually achieved by the deposition of a layer of oxide...

     layers of inert
    Inert
    -Chemistry:In chemistry, the term inert is used to describe a substance that is not chemically reactive.The noble gases were previously known as inert gases because of their perceived lack of participation in any chemical reactions...

     material to give a larger surface area
    Surface area
    Surface area is the measure of how much exposed area a solid object has, expressed in square units. Mathematical description of the surface area is considerably more involved than the definition of arc length of a curve. For polyhedra the surface area is the sum of the areas of its faces...

     for the reaction to occur over.

Both of these make the reaction faster. In 2008, Atul Kumar
Atul Kumar
Atul Kumar [ अतुल कुमार् ] is a scientist in the Central Drug Research Institute of Lucknow, India....

 reported synthesis of Hantzsch esters and polyhydroquinoline derivatives via multi-component reaction protocol in aqueous micelles using ultrasound.
  • It is used in extraction
    Liquid-liquid extraction
    Liquid–liquid extraction, also known as solvent extraction and partitioning, is a method to separate compounds based on their relative solubilities in two different immiscible liquids, usually water and an organic solvent. It is an extraction of a substance from one liquid phase into another liquid...

    , using different frequencies.

Ultrasonic range finding


A common use of ultrasound is in range finding; this use is also called SONAR
Sonar
Sonar is a technique that uses sound propagation to navigate, communicate with or detect other vessels...

, (sound navigation and ranging). This works similarly to RADAR
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

 (radio detection and ranging): An ultrasonic pulse is generated in a particular direction. If there is an object in the path of this pulse, part or all of the pulse will be reflected back to the transmitter as an echo
Echo (phenomenon)
In audio signal processing and acoustics, an echo is a reflection of sound, arriving at the listener some time after the direct sound. Typical examples are the echo produced by the bottom of a well, by a building, or by the walls of an enclosed room and an empty room. A true echo is a single...

 and can be detected through the receiver path. By measuring the difference in time between the pulse being transmitted and the echo being received, it is possible to determine how far away the object is.

The measured travel time of SONAR pulses in water is strongly dependent on the temperature and the salinity of the water. Ultrasonic ranging is also applied for measurement in air and for short distances. Such method is capable for easily and rapidly measuring the layout of rooms.

Although range finding underwater is performed at both sub-audible and audible frequencies for great distances (1 to several kilometers), ultrasonic range finding is used when distances are shorter and the accuracy of the distance measurement is desired to be finer. Ultrasonic measurements may be limited through barrier layers with large salinity, temperature or vortex differentials. Ranging in water varies from about hundreds to thousands of meters, but can be performed with centimeters to meters accuracy

Other uses

Ultrasound when applied in specific configurations can produce short bursts of light in an exotic phenomenon known as sonoluminescence
Sonoluminescence
Sonoluminescence is the emission of short bursts of light from imploding bubbles in a liquid when excited by sound.-History:The effect was first discovered at the University of Cologne in 1934 as a result of work on sonar. H. Frenzel and H. Schultes put an ultrasound transducer in a tank of...

. This phenomenon is being investigated partly because of the possibility of bubble fusion
Bubble fusion
Bubble fusion, also known as sonofusion, is the non-technical name for a nuclear fusion reaction hypothesized to occur during a high-pressure version of sonoluminescence, an extreme form of acoustic cavitation...

 (a nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion
Nuclear fusion is the process by which two or more atomic nuclei join together, or "fuse", to form a single heavier nucleus. This is usually accompanied by the release or absorption of large quantities of energy...

 reaction hypothesized to occur during sonoluminescence).

Researchers have successfully used ultrasound to regenerate dental material.

Ultrasound is used when characterizing particulates through the technique of ultrasound attenuation spectroscopy
Ultrasound attenuation spectroscopy
Ultrasound attenuation spectroscopy is a method for characterizing properties of fluids and dispersed particles. It is also known as acoustic spectroscopyThere is an international standard for this method....

 or by observing electroacoustic phenomena
Electroacoustic phenomena
Electroacoustic phenomena arise when ultrasound propagates through a fluid containing ions. The associated particle motion generates electric signals because ions have electric charge. This coupling between ultrasound and electric field is called electroacoustic phenomena. Fluid might be a simple...

.

In rheology
Rheology
Rheology is the study of the flow of matter, primarily in the liquid state, but also as 'soft solids' or solids under conditions in which they respond with plastic flow rather than deforming elastically in response to an applied force....

, an acoustic rheometer
Acoustic rheometer
An acoustic rheometer employs piezo-electric crystal that can easily launch a successive wave of extensions and contractions into the fluid. It applies an oscillating extensional stress to the system...

 relies on the principle of ultrasound. In fluid mechanics
Fluid mechanics
Fluid mechanics is the study of fluids and the forces on them. Fluid mechanics can be divided into fluid statics, the study of fluids at rest; fluid kinematics, the study of fluids in motion; and fluid dynamics, the study of the effect of forces on fluid motion...

, fluid flow can be measured using an ultrasound flow meter.

Ultrasound also plays a role in Sonic weaponry
Sonic weaponry
Sonic and ultrasonic weapons are weapons of various types that use sound to injure, incapacitate, or kill an opponent. Some sonic weapons are currently in limited use or in research and development by military and police forces. Others exist only in the realm of science fiction...

.

High and ultra high ultrasound waves are used in Acoustic microscopy
Acoustic microscopy
Acoustic microscopy is microscopy that employs very high or ultra high frequency ultrasound. Acoustic microscopes operate nondestructively and penetrate most solid materials to make visible images of internal features, including defects such as cracks, delaminations and voids.-Types of acoustic...



Audio can be propagated by modulated ultrasound
Modulated ultrasound
Ultrasound can be modulated to carry an audio signal . This is often used to carry messages underwater, in underwater diving communicators, and short-range communication with submarines; the received ultrasound signal is decoded into audible sound by a modulated-ultrasound receiver.-Range...

.

Ultrasonic testing has been used to inspect the quality of welded metal joints for many years.

Nonlinear propagation effects


Because of their high amplitude to wavelength ratio, ultrasonic waves commonly display nonlinear propagation
Nonlinear acoustics
Non-linear acoustics is a branch of physics dealing with sound waves being distorted as they travel.-Introduction:A sound wave propagates through a material as a localized pressure change...

.

Safety

Occupational exposure to ultrasound in excess of 120 dB may lead to hearing loss. Exposure in excess of 155 dB may produce heating effects that are harmful to the human body, and it has been calculated that exposures above 180 dB may lead to death. The UK's independent Advisory Group on Non-ionising Radiation (AGNIR) produced a report in 2010, which was published by the UK Health Protection Agency (HPA). This report recommended an exposure limit for the general public to airborne ultrasound sound pressure levels (SPL) of 70 dB (at 20 kHz), and 100 dB (at 25 kHz and above).

See also

  • Acoustics
    Acoustics
    Acoustics is the interdisciplinary science that deals with the study of all mechanical waves in gases, liquids, and solids including vibration, sound, ultrasound and infrasound. A scientist who works in the field of acoustics is an acoustician while someone working in the field of acoustics...

  • Bat detector
    Bat detector
    A bat detector is a device used to detect the presence of bats by converting their echolocation ultrasound signals to audible frequencies as they are emitted by the bats...

  • High-intensity focused ultrasound
  • Infrasound
    Infrasound
    Infrasound is sound that is lower in frequency than 20 Hz or cycles per second, the "normal" limit of human hearing. Hearing becomes gradually less sensitive as frequency decreases, so for humans to perceive infrasound, the sound pressure must be sufficiently high...

     — sound at extremely low frequencies
  • Isochoic
  • Light
    Light
    Light or visible light is electromagnetic radiation that is visible to the human eye, and is responsible for the sense of sight. Visible light has wavelength in a range from about 380 nanometres to about 740 nm, with a frequency range of about 405 THz to 790 THz...

  • Medical ultrasonography
    Medical ultrasonography
    Diagnostic sonography is an ultrasound-based diagnostic imaging technique used for visualizing subcutaneous body structures including tendons, muscles, joints, vessels and internal organs for possible pathology or lesions...

  • Picosecond Ultrasonics
    Picosecond ultrasonics
    Picosecond ultrasonics is a type of ultrasonics that uses ultra-high frequency ultrasound generated by ultrashort light pulses. It is a non-destructive technique in which picosecond acoustic pulses penetrate into thin films or nanostructures to reveal internal features such as film thickness as...

  • Sound
    Sound
    Sound is a mechanical wave that is an oscillation of pressure transmitted through a solid, liquid, or gas, composed of frequencies within the range of hearing and of a level sufficiently strong to be heard, or the sensation stimulated in organs of hearing by such vibrations.-Propagation of...

  • Sound from ultrasound
    Sound from ultrasound
    Sound from ultrasound is the name given here to situations when modulated ultrasound can make its carried signal audible without needing a receiver set...

     (also known as Hypersonic sound)
  • Wave
    Wave
    In physics, a wave is a disturbance that travels through space and time, accompanied by the transfer of energy.Waves travel and the wave motion transfers energy from one point to another, often with no permanent displacement of the particles of the medium—that is, with little or no associated mass...

    s
  • Sonomicrometry
    Sonomicrometry
    Sonomicrometry is a technique of measuring the distance between piezoelectric crystals based on the speed of acoustic signals through the medium they are embedded in. Typically, the crystals will be coated with an epoxy 'lens' and placed into the material facing each other...

  • Zone sonography technology
    Zone sonography technology
    Zone Sonography technology is a type of ultrasound system which captures data in several zones, rather than the lines used by conventional systems. The data captured in these zones is equivalent to many lines. The technology was showcased at the 2008 Annual Vascular Meeting, and was developed by...



Further reading

  • Kundu, Tribikram. Ultrasonic nondestructive evaluation: engineering and biological material characterization. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, c2004. ISBN 0-8493-1462-3.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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