Viscoelastic parameter estimation based on spectral analysis

TitleViscoelastic parameter estimation based on spectral analysis
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsEskandari, H., S. E. Salcudean, and R. Rohling
JournalUltrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control, IEEE Transactions on
Pagination1611 -1625
Date Publishedjul.
Keywordsbiological tissues, biomechanics, biomedical ultrasonics, elasticity, gelatin, mechanical properties, medical image processing, parameter estimation, phantoms, polyvinyl alcohol, relaxation-time distribution, rheometer, robust estimation, spectral analysis, strain measurement, time series, tissue mimicking phantom, ultrasound system, vibro-elastography imaging, viscoelastic parameter estimation, viscoelasticity

This paper introduces a new technique for the robust estimation of relaxation-time distribution in tissue. The main novelty is in the use of the phase of transfer functions calculated from a time series of strain measurements at multiple locations. Computer simulations with simulated measurement noise demonstrate the feasibility of the approach. An experimental apparatus and software were developed to confirm the simulations. The setup can be used both as a rheometer to characterize the overall mechanical properties of a material or as a vibro-elastography imaging device using an ultrasound system. The algorithms were tested on tissue mimicking phantoms specifically developed to exhibit contrast in elasticity and relaxation time. The phantoms were constructed using a combination of gelatin and a polyvinyl alcohol sponge to produce the desired viscoelastic properties. The tissue parameters were estimated and the elasticity and relaxation time of the materials have been used as complementary features to distinguish different materials. The estimation results are consistent with the rheometry, verifying that the relaxation time can be used as a complementary feature to elasticity to delineate the mechanical properties of the phantom.


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