There are now diagnostic ultrasonic imaging devices that operate at very high frequencies (VHF) of 20 MHz and beyond for clinical applications in ophthalmology, dermatology and vascular surgery. To be able to better interpret these images and to further the development of these devices, knowledge of ultrasonic attenuation and scattering of biologic tissues, such as blood, in the high-frequency range is crucial. VHF attenuation and backscatter experiments were made on porcine red blood cell (RBC) suspensions, for which much data on attenuation and backscatter can be found in the literature in the lower frequency range. Attenuation and backscatter at hematocrits of 6%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25% and 30% from 30 to 90 MHz were measured using a modified substitution method that allows the utilization of focused transducers. The results show that the attenuation coefficient from all suspensions increased linearly with frequency and the backscatter coefficient for low hematocrit suspensions was found to have a maximum between 10% and 15%. At higher hematocrits, a decrease in the frequency-dependence was observed, possibly indicating that Rayleigh scattering is no longer valid because the wavelength in the VHF range is comparable to the size of a porcine RBC.
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