Calculating acoustical properties of cells: Influence of surface topography and liquid layer between cell and substrate

T. Kundu, J. Bereiter-Hahn, K. Hillmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In this paper, a mathematical formulation is presented to compute the V(z) of a tapering layered solid and applying this formulation to the determination of acoustic properties of biological cells and tissues. The formulation is adopted in the simplex inversion algorithm to obtain the acoustic properties of a tapering cell from its V(z) values. The influence of two parameters had been considered: The tapering angle and the presence of a thin liquid layer present between cells and the substratum to which they adhere. Up to a tapering angle less than 10, it can be safely neglected. However, if a larger angle is neglected, then the acoustic wave velocity in the cell is overestimated. Cell thickness estimation is not affected significantly when the tapering angle is ignored. The calculations of acoustic properties of cells are considerably influenced by the introduction of a thin fluid layer between the solid substratum and the overlying cell, neglecting the presence of at least a very thin layer (20-30 nm), in general, results in a considerable overestimation of sound velocity. The reliability of the data calculated from V(z) values was ascertained using an independent method to determine cell thickness by calculating it from the interference fringe pattern obtained with the reflection-interference light microscope. The shape of the glutaraldehyde-fixed cells was similar to fried eggs. The highest sound velocities were found close to the periphery of the dome-shaped cell center. In the very center and over most of the area of the thin periphery, sound velocity was close to that in saline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3008-3017
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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