A new, non-perturbing optical measurement technique was developed to characterize medical ultrasound fields generated by High Intensity Focused Ultrasound (HIFU) transducers using a phenomenon called ‘acoustic streaming’. The acoustic streaming velocity generated by HIFU transducers was measured experimentally using Digital Particle Image Velocimetry (DPIV). The streaming velocity was then calculated numerically using the finite-element method. An optimization algorithm was developed to back-calculate acoustic power and intensity field by minimizing the difference between experimental and numerical streaming velocities. The intensity field and acoustic power calculated using this approach was validated with standard measurement techniques. Results showed that the inverse method was able to predict acoustic power and intensity fields within 10% of the actual value measured using standard techniques, at the low powers where standard methods can be safely applied. This technique is also potentially useful for evaluating medical ultrasound transducers at the higher power levels used in clinical practice.

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