Ultrasound-based Measurement and Imaging of Soft Tissue Elasticity: Introduction of Techniques and Applications
Speaker:Dr. Yan-Ping HUANG
Teaching Fellow
Faculty of Engineering
Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Hong Kong
Date & Time:2 Apr 2016 (Saturday) 11:45 - 12:45
Organized by:Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering


It is generally known to us that quite a number of soft tissue pathologies are associated with the change of tissue elasticity, such as liver fibrosis, cartilage degeneration and various cancers including, but not limited to, breast cancer and prostate cancer. Therefore, measurement or imaging of soft tissue elasticity can provide another dimension of information in terms of tissue biomechanical properties that is not available in conventional medical imaging modalities but of clinical value for accurate diagnosis of diseases. Since 1990s’ with the coining of “elastography” by Ophir et al. (Ophir et al. 1991. Elastography - A quantitative method for imaging the elasticity of biological tissues. Ultrasonic Imaging 13:111-134.), a number of ultrasound-based techniques have been proposed for the purpose of measurement and imaging of soft tissue elasticity because ultrasound is non-invasive, with non-radiation and fast imaging capability. Different approaches, either qualitative or quantitative, have been proposed in this field and currently there are mainly two popular methods to obtain the tissue elasticity. One is called quasi-static compression-based elastography, which is semi-qualitative, and the other is the shear wave propagation-based elasticity imaging technique, which is quantitative. Clinical tools are now available in the market, with representative products such as, Hitachi’s Real-Time Elastography (RTE) and Supersonic Imagine’s Supersonic Shearwave Imaging (SSI). Although the development of techniques is quite approaching a mature stage, it is still a difficult question to answer whether the measurement and imaging of soft tissue elasticity will become a significant routine tool in practice of various clinical sections. In this talk, various ultrasound-based elastographic imaging methods, their working principles, major technique characteristics, advantages and limitations in real or potential clinical applications, will be introduced, with some discussion at the end on the future perspective of these technologies.


Dr. Yan-Ping HUANG is now a teaching fellow at the Interdisciplinary Division of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University. He got his bachelor’s degree (2002) in Electronic Engineering and Information Science from University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in Hefei, China, and then MPhil (2005) and PhD (2013) degrees both in Biomedical Engineering (BME) from Hong Kong Polytechnic University. After that, he had one-year post-doctoral training in Department of Bioengineering, University of Washington (Seattle) before serving on the current position. His main research interests include the measurement and imaging of soft tissue elasticity, tissue characterization, using high resolution medical imaging techniques such as high frequency ultrasound and optical coherence tomography, in both instrumental development and pre-clinical investigations, targeting at the early diagnosis of diseases of those small scale tissues including skin, articular cartilage and microvascular network.