Cardiovascular disease (CVD) has been the number one killer in the United States. It has long been recognized that a high percentage of all cardiovascular disease is associated with the hardening of arteries or arteriosclerosis. Several imaging techniques, including x-ray angiography, ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), etc., are available for imaging atherosclerotic arteries. Most imaging techniques measure luminal diameter, wall thickness and plaque volume. However, no current imaging methods can measure elasticity of the arterial wall. Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is a simple and robust method to measure arterial stiffness. However, PWV can not evaluate the local arterial stiffness. We have developed a novel ultrasound method for estimating local elasticity of arteries by the wave speed dispersion. In this paper, we present a method to measure the wave speed dispersion by resonance. Theory was developed to calculate the wave speed in cylindrical tubes. Experiments were done on a rubber tube. The resonance of the tube was generated by an air-coupled ultrasound transducer. The resonance frequency was measured by a laser vibrometer. Theoretical and experimental wave dispersions were compared. This method may be useful in characterizing the elastic properties of arterial samples where the wave speed dispersion can not be easily measured.

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