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In vivo Soft Tissue Biomechanics

In vivo Soft tissue Biomechanics - applications in therapy and diagnostics (theragnostics)

Cyst BESTMeasurement of tissue elasticity is used in diagnosis of cancers (cancers are typically stiffer than normal tissue), to perform functional assessment of muscles, as well as it has the potential to be used in therapy monitoring and for multi-modality registration applications in both diagnosis and therapy. The underlying premise in all these applications is that estimation of biomechanical properties of soft tissue is useful for making clinical decisions.

Ultrasound is well-suited to soft tissue assessment because you can readily apply a force to induce tissue displacements which is the basis of all variants of the technique. One strand of our research has developed a novel device for controlled acquisition of elasticity imaging (imaging of strain and mobility) that has been validated in a 70 patient study as a tool for breast cancer assessment (see Figure of cyst B-mode, strain and mobility images). We are now looking at how the device can be used for therapy monitoring (can ultrasound elasticity detect shrinkage of cancer?) and to size cancers for surgery. A second strand of recent work, also for breast cancer assessment, has been looking at the problem of recovering the Young’s modulus directly from images by solving the so-called inverse problem of elasticity imaging. On-going work is looking at alignment of clinical images and histology, ultrasound-based tissue characterisation (Nakagami imaging) for liver cancer therapy assessment, and how changes in strain patterns can provide a clinical indicator of response to neoadjuvant therapy. A major multi-disciplinary project has also been looking at how ultrasound-based elastography can be used to assess healing of the achilles tendon and how effective tissue healing enhancement drugs are in practice.

  • Soft tissue Biomechanics Team: Alison Noble, Andy di Battista, Brian Chuang, Rui Ribiero, Phill Brown
  • Collaborators: Mark Thompson (IBME); Joseph Alsousou, Keith Willett (NDORMS); Ruth English, Rosie Adams (Churchill Hospital); Constantin Coussios (IBME),  Fergus Gleeson, Daniel Chung (Churchill Hospital);   
  • Funding: CRUK/EPSRC Oxford Cancer Imaging Centre, Wellcome/EPSRC Centre of Excellence in Personalised Healtcare, EPSRC.

Representative Publications:

J. Alsousou, P. G. Brown, M. Thompson, K. Willett, A. J. Noble
Ultrasound Elastography Imaging of Healing Ruptured Achilles Tendons: a Measure of Mechanical Healing
EFORT 2013. Accepted for publication in 2013.

PG Brown, J Alsousou, M Thompson, JA Noble
Ultrasound strain imaging measurement in achilles tendons as a measure of healing from rupture with controlled ankle motion.
The 18th Congress of the Biomechanics (ESB), 1-4 July 2012,  Lisbon, Portugal.

J. Alsousou, M. Thompson, P Hulley, A, Noble, K. Willett
The bioogy of platelet-rich plasma and its application in trauma and orthopaedic surgery: a review of the literature
.
The Journal od Bone and Joint Surgery, 91-B:987-96, 2009.

A di Battista, JA Noble.
A fast and robust 3D ultrasound strain inaging method for freehand scanning
.
Proc. IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro (ISBI), pp 528-531, 30 March-2 April, 2011.

A Larrue, JA Noble.
Nakagami imaging with small windows.
Proc. IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro (ISBI), pp 897-890, 30 March-2 April, 2011.

MJ Kadour, R Adams, R English, V Parulekar, S Christopher, JA Noble.
Slip Imaging: reducing ambiguity in breast lesion assessment.

Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology, 36(12), December 2010, pp 2027-2035.

R English. J Li, R Adams, V Parulekar, A Parker, D Roskell, Y Chi, JA Noble
Pilot Study: Comparison of breast cancer tumour sizing using B-mode ultrasound, elastography and histology.
British Journal of Radiology, accepted 2010.

B Chuang, A Myronenko, R English, JA Noble
Interpreting ultrasound elastography: image registration of breast cancer ultrasound elastography to histopathology images
Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, 14-17 April 2010, pp 181-184.

B Chuang, A Myronenko, R English, JA Noble
Interpreting ultrasound elastography: image registration of breast cancer ultrasound elastography to histopathology images
Proceedings of the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging: From Nano to Macro, 14-17 April 2010, pp 181-184.

J Li, Y Cui, RE English, JA Noble
Ultrasound-based estimating of breast tissue biomechanical properties 
Journal of Strain Analysis for Mechanical Design 1 July, 2009 vol. 44 no. 5 363-374. doi:10.1243/03093247JSA486

 MJ Kadour and JA Noble
Assisted-freehand ultrasound elasticity imaging 
IEEE Transaction on UFFC, 56(1):36-43, 2009