The acoustic properties of rabbit supraspinatus tendon insertions were measured by scanning acoustic microscopy. After cutting parallel to the supraspinatus tendon fibers, specimens were fixed with 10% neutralized formalin, embedded in paraffin, and sectioned. Both the sound speed and the attenuation constant were measured at the insertion site. The 2-dimensional distribution of the sound speed and that of the attenuation constant were displayed with color-coded scales. The acoustic properties reflected both the histologic architecture and the collagen type. In the tendon proper and the non-mineralized fibrocartilage, the sound speed and attenuation constant gradually decreased as the predominant collagen type changed from I to II. In the mineralized fibrocartilage, they increased markedly with the mineralization of the fibrocartilaginous tissue. These results indicate that the non-mineralized fibrocartilage shows the lowest elastic modulus among 4 zones at the insertion site, which could be interpreted as an adaptation to various types of biomechanical stress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas