LMA - Laboratoire de Mécanique et d’Acoustique

Structure factor model for understanding the ultrasound backscattering by tumors

The purpose of our work is to understand the ultrasound backscattering by tumors. The cancerous tumors often result from the proliferation of abnormal cells forming a growing mass. The classical ultrasound scattering models used by the cellular structure estimation technique assume that the scatterers are randomly and independently distributed (i.e. diluted media), whereas the tumors can be considered as concentrated media. The scientific challenge is to answer the following questions : what are the scattering models adapted to densely packed cells ? What are the main structures responsible for the ultrasound scattering by tumors ?

The purpose of our work is to understand the ultrasound backscattering by tumors. Our hypothesis is that a scattering model considering the interference effects caused by the correlations among scatterer positions (i.e. considering the coherent scattering) may help to estimate QUS parameters with better accuracy on densely-packed media. The structure factor model considers the coherent scattering by summing the contributions from individual cells and modeling the cellular interactions by a statistical mechanics structure factor. Our group performed experiments on tissue-mimicking phantoms and cell pellet biophantoms to show the superiority of the structure factor model in comparison with other classical models that do not take the structure factor into account (i.e., the Gaussian model or the fluid sphere model).

Post-doc opportunity on this topic !

A post-doc is available for one year to develop high frequency quantitative ultrasound techniques for assessment of skin cancer in patients, in collaboration with the CHU-university hospital of Nice. (more details here)

Ultrasound experiments on cell pellet biophantoms mimicking densely packed cells in tumors. Source : Franceschini et al. 2014 (PDF)

B-mode image from heterogeneous HT29 tumor presenting a necrotic core and corresponding quantitative ultrasound images (scatterer size estimates). Source : Muleki-Seya et al. 2016

People at LMA on the project : Emilie Franceschini, Régine Guillermin, Cédric Payan, Philippe Lasaygues, Eric Debieu

Contact : Emilie Franceschini



  • E. Franceschini & R. Guillermin Experimental assessment of four ultrasound scattering models for characterizing concentrated tissue-mimicking phantoms (2012) J. Acoust. Soc. Amer. 132(6) 3735-3747 (PDF)
  • E. Franceschini, R. Guillermin, F. Tourniaire, S. Roffino, E. Lamy and J.-F. Landrier Structure Factor Model for understanding the measured backscatter coefficients from concentrated cell pellet biophantoms (2014) J. Acoust. Soc. Amer.135(6) 3620-3631 (PDF)
  • F. Destrempes, E. Franceschini, F. T. H. Yu and G. Cloutier, Unifying concepts of statistical and spectral quantitative ultrasound techniques (2016) IEEE Trans. on Medical Imaging 35(2) 488-500
  • E. Franceschini, R. de Monchy and J. Mamou, Quantitative characterization of tissue microstructure on concentrated cell pellet biophantoms based on the structure factor model (2016) IEEE Trans. on Ultrason., Ferroelect., Freq. Contr.63(9) 1321-1334 (web)
  • P. Muleki-Seya, R. Guillermin, J. Guglielmi, J. Chen, T. Pourcher, E. Konofagou and E. Franceschini, High frequency quantitative ultrasound spectroscopy of excised canine livers and mouse tumors using the structure factor model (2016) IEEE Trans. on Ultrason., Ferroelect., Freq. Contr. 63(9) 1335-1350 (web)