Alumni of Wolfson College
CDT Postgraduate Studentship in Healthcare Innovation (RCUK Digital Economy Programme grant number EP/G036861/1)
Ultrasound elastography for in-vivo functional strain measurement of Achilles tendons in healing from rupture.
Measurement of damage and healing in in-vivo tendons is difficult, with current clinical methods principally relying on subjective pain response but this has poor specify for quantitative analysis to assess disease progression or efficacy of treatment. Elastography is an ultrasound imaging tool that measures the relative strain in tissues by block tracking displacements across an image time sequence and then taking the spatial derivative of the displacements. However, these images are noisy and prone to artefacts, so getting accurate and repeatable measures that fit physical models and are robust offers considerable challenges. We have investigated and developed methods to quantitatively measure the strain in Achilles tendons based on controlled passive motion of the foot and can show good conformance with existing clinical measures and an ability to distinguish differences between treatment groups over time with patients recovering from rupture.