Material properties of the supraspinatus tendon at its insertion - A measurement with the scanning acoustic microscopy

Hirotaka Sano, Yoshifumi Saijo, Shoichi Kokubun

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9 Citations (Scopus)


The acoustic properties of the supraspinatus tendon insertions of three adult Japanese white rabbits (male, 3.2-3.5 kg) were measured by scanning acoustic microscopy (SAM). After cutting parallel to the supraspinatus tendon fibers, specimens were fixed with 10% neutralized formalin, embedded in paraffin and sectioned at 5 μm thickness. The sound speed and the attenuation constant along the articular surface of the tendon from the insertion site to the musculotendinous junction were measured by SAM. The two-dimensional distribution of the acoustic properties was displayed with color-coded scales and was compared to the histologic structure. Toluidine-blue staining and immunohistochemical staining against type II collagen were performed to determine the presence of fibrocartilage besides a standard Elastica-Masson staining to assess the overall histologic structure. The distribution of the sound speed and the attenuation constant showed an almost identical pattern. Both parameters were lower in the non-mineralized fibrocartilage than those in the tendon proper. The area indicating low sound speed corresponded well to the area of metachromasia and type II collagen. The non-mineralized fibrocartilage indicated softer material properties than the tendon proper, which could be interpreted as an adaptation for the various biomechanical stresses at the insertion site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-34
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Musculoskeletal Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Mar


  • Acoustic properties
  • Attenuation constant
  • Fibrocartilage
  • Sound speed
  • Type II collagen

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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