Shear wave imaging is a relatively new ultrasound-based technique that can measure tissue stiffness based on the propagation speed of shear waves. These shear waves are generated inside the tissue of interest by applying a focused high-energy ultrasound beam generating an acoustic radiation force (see fig. 1).
However, mechanical testing is currently the golden standard for obtaining mechanical properties of soft tissue. In this thesis, we investigate the potential of using shear wave imaging as non-invasive alternative for deriving mechanical characteristics of tissue-mimicking phantoms. In order to estimate material properties based on shear wave data, we need to build an optimization framework that allows tuning mechanical properties in shear wave simulations using the finite element method based on the experimental shear wave observations. Depending on the complexity of the considered material law, a complete mechanical characterization is only possible if multiple shear wave modes are excited simultaneously (see fig. 2).
The goal is to develop an optimization procedure between simulated and measured shear wave propagation to determine material parameters.
The project will require the mainly the use of Matlab and Abaqus.