In this paper, we propose a method to model the shear wave propagation in transversely isotropic, viscoelastic and incompressible media. The targeted application is ultrasound-based shear wave elastography for viscoelasticity measurements in anisotropic tissues such as the kidney and skeletal muscles. The proposed model predicts that if the viscoelastic parameters both across and along fiber directions can be characterized as a Voigt material, then the spatial phase velocity at any angle is also governed by a Voigt material model. Further, with the aid of Taylor expansions, it is shown that the spatial group velocity at any angle is close to a Voigt type for weakly attenuative materials within a certain bandwidth. The model is implemented in a finite element code by a time domain explicit integration scheme and shear wave simulations are conducted. The results of the simulations are analyzed to extract the shear wave elasticity and viscosity for both the spatial phase and group velocities. The estimated values match well with theoretical predictions. The proposed theory is further verified by an ex vivo tissue experiment measured in a porcine skeletal muscle by an ultrasound shear wave elastography method. The applicability of the Taylor expansion to analyze the spatial velocities is also discussed. We demonstrate that the approximations from the Taylor expansions are subject to errors when the viscosities across or along the fiber directions are large or the maximum frequency considered is beyond the bandwidth defined by radii of convergence of the Taylor expansions.
- finite element
- shear wave
- transversely isotropic
- ultrasound elastography
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging