Towards An Acoustic Model-Based Poroelastic Imaging Method: I. Theoretical Foundation

G.P. Berry, J.C. Bamber, Cecil Armstrong, N.R. Miller, P.E. Barbone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


The ultrasonic measurement and imaging of tissue elasticity is currently under wide investigation and development as a clinical tool for the assessment of a broad range of diseases, but little account in this field has yet been taken of the fact that soft tissue is porous and contains mobile fluid. The ability to squeeze fluid out of tissue may have implications for conventional elasticity imaging, and may present opportunities for new investigative tools. When a homogeneous, isotropic, fluid-saturated poroelastic material with a linearly elastic solid phase and incompressible solid and fluid constituents is subjected to stress, the behaviour of the induced internal strain field is influenced by three material constants: the Young's modulus (E(s)) and Poisson's ratio (nu(s)) of the solid matrix and the permeability (k) of the solid matrix to the pore fluid. New analytical expressions were derived and used to model the time-dependent behaviour of the strain field inside simulated homogeneous cylindrical samples of such a poroelastic material undergoing sustained unconfined compression. A model-based reconstruction technique was developed to produce images of parameters related to the poroelastic material constants (E(s), nu(s), k) from a comparison of the measured and predicted time-dependent spatially varying radial strain. Tests of the method using simulated noisy strain data showed that it is capable of producing three unique parametric images: an image of the Poisson's ratio of the solid matrix, an image of the axial strain (which was not time-dependent subsequent to the application of the compression) and an image representing the product of the aggregate modulus E(s)(1-nu(s))/(1+nu(s))(1-2nu(s)) of the solid matrix and the permeability of the solid matrix to the pore fluid. The analytical expressions were further used to numerically validate a finite element model and to clarify previous work on poroelastography.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-567
Number of pages21
JournalUltrasound in Medicine & Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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