We have been developing a scanning acoustic microscope (SAM) system for medicine and biology featuring quantitative measurement of ultrasonic speed and attenuation of soft tissues. In the present study, we will propose a new concept ultrasonic speed microscopy that can measure the thickness and ultrasonic speed using fast Fourier transform of a single pulsed wave instead of continuous waves used in conventional SAM systems. Six coronary arteries were frozen and sectioned approximately 10 μm in thickness. They were mounted on glass slides without cover slips. The scanning time of a frame with 300 × 300 pixels was 121 s and two-dimensional distribution of ultrasonic speed was obtained. The ultrasonic speed was 1720 m/s in the thickened intima with collagen fiber, 1520 m/s in lipid deposition underlying fibrous cap and 1830 m/s in calcified lesion in the intima. These basic measurements will help understanding echogenecity in intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) images. Imaging of coronary artery with the ultrasonic speed microscopy provides important information for study of IVUS coronary imaging.
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