A feasibility study fornoninvasive measurement of shear wave speed in live zebrafish.

Zebrafish are being increasingly used as animal models for human diseases such as cardiomyopathy and neuroblastoma. Owing to a nearly fully sequenced genome and efficient genetics/chemical genetics, zebrafish open new research opportunities for human diseases research. The purpose of this study was to develop zebrafish ultrasound vibro-elastography (ZUVE) for measuring the shear wave speed of zebrafish.

An adult female zebrafish was anesthetized for three minutes for the ZUVE testing. A 0.1 s gentle harmonic vibration was generated on the tail using a sphere tip indenter with 3 mm diameter. Shear wave propagation in the zebrafish was measured using a high frequency 18 MHz ultrasound probe. Shear wave speeds were measured at 300, 400, and 500 Hz.

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Shear wave speeds were, respectively, 3.13 ± 1.20 (m/s) for 300 Hz, 4.28 ± 1.36 (m/s) for 400 Hz, and 5.07 ± 1.45 (m/s) for 500 Hz for zebrafish 1 in a region of interest (ROI) which covered the central body. The shear wave speed dispersions were similar for four zebrafish and shear wave speeds ranged between 2.5 (m/s) and 5 (m/s) from 300 Hz to 500 Hz. The experimental setup and testing for a zebrafish lasted less than three minutes.

All tested zebrafish were alive after testing. ZUVE is safe, fast, and noninvasive, making the testing of elastic properties of zebrafish feasible.