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ULTRASONIC ASSESSMENT OF TISSUE ANISOTROPY



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ULTRASONICASSESSMENT OF TISSUEANISOTROPY JR WILLIAM D O BRLEN and JOHN E OLERUD Departmentof Electrical and Computer Engineering Universityof Illinois 1406 West GreenStreet q Urbana IL 61801 USA and Dlvlslon of Dermatology Department of Medicine University of Washington Seattle WA 98195 USA ABSTRACT Two completely separate experiments using theScanning Laser Acoustic Microscope operating at an ultrasonicfrequency of la0 MHz assessed the attenuation coefficient and propagation speed of two anisotropic biological materials viz human Achilles tendonsamples and bovine longissimus striated muscle samples For the tendon samples three separate locations were also evaluated superior medial and inferior Anisotropy was evaluatedby measuring the samples withthe ulaasonic beam propagatingeither parallelor perpendicular to the tendon muscle fibers Achilles tendons generallyexhibited agreater anisompy than did skeletal muscle andfor both materials the parallelorientation of both attenuation coefficient and propagation speed were consistently greater that those ofthe perpendicular orientation I INTRODUCTION Ultrasonic propagation propertiesin biological tissues are not well understood l but are thought to be determined atthe level oflarge molecules 2 In muscle and connective tissues for example it is not clear to what degree the oriented structures contribute to sound propagation These considerations are of interest in theclinical use of ultrasound since the composition and configuration of tissues changes during disease states e g cirrhosis of the liver certain muscular pathologies and degenerativejoint diseases as well asin normal physiologic processes e g wound healing and fetal development of Anisotropy has been reported innumber a oriented biologicaltissues in the low megahertz frequency range 3 91 No work has been published characterizingmuscle or tendon fiber anisotropy at higher frequencies Therefore this studyinvestigates the acoustic anisotropy in bovine skeletal muscle



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