Visualization of Microvessels in Skin by Three-Dimensional Ultrasound Microscope
A non-invasive imaging technique capable of visualizing microvessels through epidermis to subdermis has been strongly desired. A PVDF ultrasonic transducer with the central frequency of 100 MHz and the focal length of 3.2 mm was mechanically scanned over the objects by two linear servo motors controlled by a personal computer. A microvessel model was made of a tungsten wire with a diameter of 100-microns and placed in the water tank. The microvessel model was clearly visualized by 3D ultrasound microscope. In cases of skin imaging, conventional echo gel was used as the coupling medium between transducer and skin surface. In vivo 3D skin morphology was also clearly visualized. In dermis, a microvessel may be shown as small, round, lucent echo areas continuously observed in the serial sections. 3D structure of hair-follicle was also visualized from the skin surface to the bud of hair-follicle in dermis. The 3D ultrasound microscope noninvasively provides important information on the distribution of microvessels in skin.
KeywordsSkin Epidermis Dermis Microvessel Three-dimensional ultrasound microscope
This work was supported in part by Grants from New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (06001905-0), Grants-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Scientific Research (B) 19300179) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and Sendai Advanced Preventive Health Care Services Cluster from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.