Evaluation of the biomechanics of atherosclerosis by acoustic microscopy

Yoshifumi Saijo, Shin ichi Nitta, Claus S. Jørgensen, Erling Falk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Acoustic microscopy provides not only the morphology, but also the biomechanical properties of the biological soft tissues. The biomechanics of atherosclerosis is important because the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis is closely related with mechanical properties and mechanical stress. Rupture of the fibrous cap of atheromatous plaque is the initial event in acute coronary syndrome such as acute myocardial infarction or unstable angina. In addition to extrinsic physical stresses to the plaque, the intrinsic biomechanical property of the plaque is important for assessing the mechanism of the rupture. Two sets of SAMs operating in 100 to 200 MHz and in 800 MHz to 1.3 GHz were equipped to measure the acoustic properties of atherosclerosis of human or mouse arteries. The values of attenuation and sound speed in the tissue components of atherosclerosis were measured by analyzing the frequency dependent characteristics of the amplitude and phase signals. Both values were highest in calcification and lowest in lipid pool. Although attenuation and sound speed were relatively high in intimal fibrosis, the inhomogeneity of acoustic parameters was found within the fibrous cap. Polarized microscopy for the collagen stained with Picrosirius red showed that the attenuation of ultrasound was significantly higher in type I collagen with orange polarized color compared to type III collagen with green color. SAM has shown the possibility to detect the plaque vulnerability and it might improve our understanding of the sudden rupture from micro-mechanical point of view.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-235
Number of pages8
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001 Jul 24


  • Acoustic microscopy
  • Atherosclerosis
  • Attenuation
  • Collagen
  • Sound speed
  • Ultrasonics


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of the biomechanics of atherosclerosis by acoustic microscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this