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International Journal of Biomedical Imaging
Volume 2009, Article ID 406854, 9 pages
Research Article

Elastography Method for Reconstruction of Nonlinear Breast Tissue Properties

1Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA
2Department of Biomedical Engineering, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis, IN 46202, USA
3School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA
4Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Irvine, CA 92697, USA

Received 15 January 2009; Accepted 18 May 2009

Academic Editor: Guowei Wei

Copyright © 2009 Z. G. Wang et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Elastography is developed as a quantitative approach to imaging linear elastic properties of tissues to detect suspicious tumors. In this paper a nonlinear elastography method is introduced for reconstruction of complex breast tissue properties. The elastic parameters are estimated by optimally minimizing the difference between the computed forces and experimental measures. A nonlinear adjoint method is derived to calculate the gradient of the objective function, which significantly enhances the numerical efficiency and stability. Simulations are conducted on a three-dimensional heterogeneous breast phantom extracting from real imaging including fatty tissue, glandular tissue, and tumors. An exponential-form of nonlinear material model is applied. The effect of noise is taken into account. Results demonstrate that the proposed nonlinear method opens the door toward nonlinear elastography and provides guidelines for future development and clinical application in breast cancer study.