Visualization of Microvessels in Skin by Three-Dimensional Ultrasound Microscope

  • Y. SaijoEmail author
  • K. Kobayashi
  • N. Hozumi
  • A. Tanaka
  • S. Sakai
Conference paper
Part of the Acoustical Imaging book series (ACIM, volume 30)


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.


Skin 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.


  1. 1.
    Saijo, Y., Tanaka, M., Okawai, H., Dunn, F.: The ultrasonic properties of gastric cancer tissues obtained with a scanning acoustic microscope system. Ultrasound Med. Biol. 17(9), 709–714 (1991)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Saijo, Y., Tanaka, M., Okawai, H., Sasaki, H., Nitta, S., Dunn, F.: Ultrasonic tissue characterization of infarcted myocardium by scanning acoustic microscopy. Ultrasound Med. Biol. 23(1), 77–85 (1997)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Saijo, Y., Sasaki, H., Sato, M., Nitta, S., Tanaka, M.: Visualization of human umbilical vein endothelial cells by acoustic microscopy. Ultrasonics 38(1–9), 396–399 (2000)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Saijo, Y., Miyakawa, T., Sasaki, H., Tanaka, M., Nitta, S.: Acoustic properties of aortic aneurysm obtained with scanning acoustic microscopy. Ultrasonics 42(1), 695–698 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Saijo, Y., Hozumi, N., Kobayashi, K., Okada, N., Santos Filho, E.D., Sasaki, H., Yambe, T., Tanaka, M.: Ultrasonic tissue characterization of atherosclerosis by a speed-of-sound microscanning system. IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelect. Freq. Contr. 54(8), 1571–1577 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Gambichler, T., Moussa, G., Sand, M., Sand, D., Altmeyer, P., Hoffmann, K.; Applications of optical coherence tomography in dermatology. J. Dermatol. Sci. 40(2), 85–94 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    El Gammal, S., El Gammal, C., Kaspar, K., Pieck, C., Altmeyer, P., Vogt, M., Ermert, H.: Sonography of the skin at 100 MHz enables in vivo visualization of stratum corneum and viable epidermis in palmar skin and psoriatic plaques. J. Invest. Dermatol. 113(5), 821–829 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Vogt, M., Ermert, H.; In vivo ultrasound biomicroscopy of skin: spectral system characteristics and inverse filtering optimization. IEEE Trans. Ultrason. Ferroelect. Freq. Contr. 54(8), 1551–1559 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Y. Saijo
    • 1
    Email author
  • K. Kobayashi
    • 2
  • N. Hozumi
    • 3
  • A. Tanaka
    • 4
  • S. Sakai
    • 5
  1. 1.Graduate School of Biomedical Engineering, Tohoku UniversitySendaiJapan
  2. 2.Honda Electronics Co. Ltd.ToyohashiJapan
  3. 3.Aichi Institute of TechnologyToyotaJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of Symbiotic Systems ScienceFukushima UniversityFukushimaJapan
  5. 5.Kanebo Cosmetics Inc.KotobukimachiJapan

Personalised recommendations