Ultrasonic assessment of skin and wounds with the scanning laser acoustic microscope

John E. Olerud, William O'Brien, Mary Ann Riederer-Henderson, Diane Steiger, Fred K. Forster, Colin Daly, Deborah J. Ketterer, George F. Odland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that ultrasonic propagation properties in skin and wound tissue would correlate with material properties such as collagen content, water content, and tensile strength of those tissues. Both ultrasonic speed and ultrasonic attenuation coefficient were directly correlated with tissue collagen content, [r = 0.80 and r = 0.56, respectively (p < 0.001)]. In addition, ultrasonic speed and attenuation coefficient were inversely correlated with tissue water content, [r =-0.57 and r = -0.73, respectively (p < 0.001)]. Tensile strength also correlated very significantly with ultrasonic speed (r = 0.90, p < 0.001), and significantly with attenuation coefficient (r = 0.58, p < 0.001). The results demonstrate the feasibility of using ultrasound for noninvasively determining the material properties of biologic tissues including healing cutaneous wounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-623
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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