Analyzing acoustoelastic effect of shear wave elastography data for perfused and hydrated soft tissues using a macromolecular network inspired model.

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Department of Biomedical Engineering


Shear wave elastography (SWE) has enhanced our ability to non-invasively make in vivo measurements of tissue elastic properties of animal and human tissues. Recently, researchers have taken advantages of acoustoelasticity in SWE to extract nonlinear elastic properties from soft biological tissues. However, most investigations of the acoustoelastic effects of SWE data (AE-SWE) rely on classic hyperelastic models for rubber-like (dry) materials. In this paper, we focus solely on understanding acoustoelasticity in soft hydrated tissues using SWE data and propose a straightforward approach to modeling the constitutive behavior of soft tissue that has a direct microstructural/macromolecular interpretation. Our approach incorporates two constitutive features relevant to biological tissues into AE-SWE: static dilation of the medium associated with nonstructural components (e.g. tissue hydration and perfusion) and finite extensibility derived from an ideal network of biological filaments. We evaluated the proposed method using data from an in-house tissue-mimicking phantom experiment, and ex vivo and in vivo AE-SWE data available in the SWE literature. In conclusion, predictions made by our approach agreed well with measurements obtained from phantom, ex vivo and in vivo tissue experiments.

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Journal of biomechanics