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Monitored steady-state excitation and recovery (MSSR) radiation force imaging using viscoelastic models

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7 Author(s)
Mauldin, F.R. ; Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA ; Haider, M.A. ; Loboa, E.G. ; Behler, R.H.
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Acoustic radiation force imaging methods distinguish tissue structure and composition by monitoring tissue responses to applied radiation force excitations. Although these responses are a complex, multidimensional function of the geometric and viscoelastic nature of tissue, simplified discrete biomechanical models offer meaningful insight to the physical phenomena that govern induced tissue motion. Applying Voigt and standard linear viscoelastic tissue models, we present a new radiation force technique - monitored steady-state excitation and recovery (MSSER) imaging - that tracks both steady-state displacement during prolonged force application and transient response following force cessation to estimate tissue mechanical properties such as elasticity and viscosity. In concert with shear wave elasticity imaging (SWEI) estimates for Young's modulus, MSSER methods are useful for estimating tissue mechanical properties independent of the applied force magnitude. We test our methods in gelatin phantoms and excised pig muscle, with confirmation through mechanical property measurement. Our results measured 10.6 kPa, 14.7 kPa, and 17.1 kPa (gelatin) and 122.4 kPa (pig muscle) with less than 10% error. This work demonstrates the feasibility of MSSER imaging and merits further efforts to incorporate relevant mechanical tissue models into the development of novel radiation force imaging techniques.

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Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 7 )