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A Novel Quantitative 500-MHz Acoustic Microscopy System for Ophthalmologic Tissues

: Rohrbach, D.; Jakob, A.; Lloyd, H.O.; Tretbar, S.H.; Silverman, R.H.; Mamou, J.


IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering BME 64 (2017), Nr.3, S.715-724
ISSN: 0018-9294
ISSN: 1558-2531
Fraunhofer IBMT ()

Objective: This paper describes development of a novel 500-MHz scanning acoustic microscope (SAM) for assessing the mechanical properties of ocular tissues at fine resolution. The mechanical properties of some ocular tissues, such as lamina cribrosa (LC) in the optic nerve head, are believed to play a pivotal role in eye pathogenesis.
Methods: A novel etching technology was used to fabricate silicon-based lens for a 500-MHz transducer. The transducer was tested in a custom-designed scanning system on human eyes. Two-dimensional (2-D) maps of bulk modulus (K) and mass density (rho) were derived using improved versions of current state-of-the-art signal processing approaches.
Results: The transducer employed a lens radius of 125 mu m and had a center frequency of 479 MHz with a -6-dB bandwidth of 264 MHz and a lateral resolution of 4 mu m. The LC, Bruch's membrane (BM) at the interface of the retina and choroid, and Bowman's layer (BL) at the interface of the corneal epithelium and stroma, were successfully imaged and resolved. Analysis of the 2-D parameter maps revealed average values of LC, BM, and BL with KLC = 2.81 +/- 0.17; GPa, KBM = 2.89 +/- 0.18; GPa, KBL = 2.6 +/- 0.09; GPa,. LC = 0.96 +/- 0.03 g/cm(3);. BM = 0.97 +/- 0.04 g/cm(3);. BL = 0.98 +/- 0.04 g/cm(3). Significance: This novel SAM was shown to be capable of measuring mechanical properties of soft biological tissues at microscopic resolution; it is currently the only system that allows simultaneous measurement of K,., and attenuation in large lateral scales (field area > 9 mm(2)) and at fine resolutions.