Cylindrical homogenous phantoms for magnetic resonance (MR) elastography in biomedical research provide one way to validate an imaging systems performance, but the simplified geometry and boundary conditions can cloak complexity arising at tissue interfaces. In an effort to develop a more realistic gel tissue phantom for MRE, we have constructed a heterogenous gel phantom (a sphere centrally embedded in a cylinder). The actuation comes from the phantom container, with the mechanical waves propagating toward the center, focusing the energy and thus allowing for the visualization of high-frequency waves that would otherwise be damped. The phantom was imaged and its stiffness determined using a 9.4 T horizontal MRI with a custom build piezo-elastic MRE actuator. The phantom was vibrated at three frequencies, 250, 500, and 750 Hz. The resulting shear wave images were first used to reconstruct material stiffness maps for thin (1 mm) axial slices at each frequency, from which the complex shear moduli μ were estimated, and then compared with forward modeling using a recently developed theoretical model which took μ as inputs. The overall accuracy of the measurement process was assessed by comparing theory with experiment for selected values of the shear modulus (real and imaginary parts). Close agreement is shown between the experimentally obtained and theoretically predicted wave fields.
- MR elastography
- analytic modeling
- mixed coordinate systems
- phantom study
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging