Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name




First Advisor

Maev, Roman


acoustic; biomarker; cancer; fingernail; oncology; ultrasound



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


The human fingernail is a vital organ used by humans on a daily basis and can provide an immense supply of information based on the biological feedback of the body. By studying the quantitative mechanical and acoustic properties of fingernails, a better understanding of the scarcely-investigated field of ungual research can be explored. Investigating fingernail properties with the use of pulse-echo ultrasound is the aim of this thesis. This thesis involves the application of a developed portable ultrasonic device in a hospital-based data collection and the advancement of ultrasonic methodology to include the calculation of acoustic impedance, density and elasticity. The results of the thesis show that the reflectance method can be utilized to determine fingernail properties with a maximum 17% deviation from literature. Repeatability of measurements fell within a 95% confidence interval. Thus, the ultrasonic reflectance method was validated and may have potential clinical and cosmetic applications.