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In patient mechanobiology

Patient monitoring - functional imaging

We have developed a new, optimised ultrasound elastography, specially adapted for the difficult task of measuring tendon and other soft tissue strains. This has been evaluated in vitro, and in a study of volunteers. It has been trialled in the clinic with 20 Achilles tendon rupture patients at the Trauma Unit in the John Radcliffe Hospital, and showed high sensitivity to tissue quality. The images show ultrasound elastography of an Achilles tendon immediately after rupture and at 12 weeks following rupture. The contour plot highlights the high strains at the rupture site in the top third of the image in red and yellow, these have resolved to much lower values at 12 weeks.

Achilles # elastogram 0 wk Achilles # elastogram 12 wk

We have also designed an ankle passive flexion device to apply small displacements and forces. This enables the quantification of the Achilles tendon stiffness using elastography.  

Researchers: Phil Brown, Joseph Alsousou

Collaboration: Alison Noble, Keith Willett (Kadoorie), Tham Wedatilake (OxSport)

Funding: NIHR OxBRC, RCUK CDT in Healthcare Innovation, EPSRC IAA