Elastography is the direct imaging of tissue elasticity parameters. The invention is a widely-applicable framework for determining elastic properties of tissue called Modality Independent Elastography (MIE). The technology is an adaptable framework which augments existing technologies (i.e. optical, magnetic resonance, computed tomographic, ultrasound) and creates image distributions of elastic parameters. It does not require any special sequences other than routine anatomical images. More specifically, using images of the anatomy taken before and after a deformation event, MIE can then extract out an estimate of the distribution of mechanical properties associated with that anatomy. The methodology can use an applied mechanical deformation or can use natural physiological deformations. Current work has been focused at breast elastography using a gentle bladder-based deformations source, and in liver using natural respiratory motion. Other applications in dermoscopy, as well as small-animal imaging have been demonstrated. We believe this methodology to be the most widely applicable, general, inexpensive, minimally cumbersome elastography method available.
U.S. Patent 7,257,244: Elastography imaging modalities for characterizing properties of tissue