Ultrasonic spectroscopy of the porcine eye lens

A. van der Steen, C. de Korte and J. Thijssen

Biophysics Laboratory, University Hospital, Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


The purpose of the work is to measure and study the acoustic characteristics of the porcine eye lens and find correlations with chemical and optical parameters, obtained from literature. Ultrasonic spectroscopy was performed by using a scanning acoustic macroscope (frequency 20 MHz, resolution 150 microns). The transducer performed a two-dimensional scan over a central slice (1 mm thickness) of porcine lens (number of lenses = 10). A double transmission pulse-echo method was used to acquire the ultrasonic data from the lens. Two-dimensional images were reconstructed of the local ultrasound velocity and the frequency-dependent ultrasound attenuation. Axial and equatorial profiles of these parameters were calculated from the images. The acoustic parameters are not constant, but show a systematic dependence on the location within the lens. The profiles of the acoustic parameters are similar in shape to profiles of the protein and water contents of eye lens and to the profiles of the optical refractive index. A thorough quantitative correlation study is indicated, which should be based on detailed protein content data in porcine lenses.