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Assessment of the mechanical properties of the musculoskeletal system using 2-D and 3-D very high frame rate ultrasound

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4 Author(s)
Deffieux, T. ; Lab. Ondes et Acoust., Univ. Paris VII, Paris ; Gennisson, J.-L. ; Tanter, M. ; Fink, M.

One of the great challenges for understanding muscular diseases is to assess noninvasively the active and passive mechanical properties of the musculoskeletal system. In this paper we report the use of ultrafast ultrasound imaging to explore with a submillimeter resolution the behavior of the contracting tissues in vivo (biceps brachii). To image the contraction, which is a very brief phenomenon (<100 ms), a recently designed ultrasound scanner prototype able to take up to 6000 frames/s was used. A very high frame rate from 1000 to 2500 frames/s was used to image the cross section plane of the muscle (transverse to fibers) enabling us to catch in real time the muscle contraction during a transient electrostimulation. Tissue velocities were obtained from radiofrequency based speckle tracking techniques and their profiles are discussed with respect to electrostimulation intensities and pulse repetition frequencies for different volunteers. Three-dimensional (3-D) very high frame rate movies were also acquired by repeating the experiment for different acquisition planes while triggering the imaging system with the electrostimulation device. The reconstructed 3-D velocity field allows the full localization of the contracting fibers bundle. This ultrasound technique, referred to as echo mechanomyography, offers new perspectives for in vivo and in situ noninvasive muscle diagnosis of an active contractile tissue.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 10 )