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Title: Mathematical and computational modelling of ultrasound elasticity imaging
Author: Southern, James Alastair
ISNI:       0000 0001 3473 0982
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2006
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In this thesis a parameter recovery method for use in ultrasound elasticity imaging is developed. Elasticity imaging is a method for using a series of ultrasound images (and the displacement field between them) to estimate the spatial variation of the stiffness of the tissue being imaged. Currently iterative methods are used to do this: a model of tissue mechanics is assumed and a large number of simulations using varying parameters are compared to the actual displacement field. The aim of this work is to develop a solution method that works back from the known displacement field to determine the tissue properties, reducing the number of simulations that must be performed to one. The parameter recovery method is based on the formulation and direct solution of the 2-d linear elasticity inverse problem using finite element methods. The inverse problem is analyzed mathematically and the existence and uniqueness of solutions is described for varying numbers of displacement fields and appropriate boundary conditions. It is shown to be hyperbolic (and so difficult to solve numerically) and then reformulated as a minimization problem with hyperbolic Euler-Lagrange equations. A finite element solution of the minimization problem is developed and implemented. The results of the finite element implementation are shown to work well in recovering the parameters used in numerical simulations of the linear elasticity forward problem so long as these are continuous. The method is shown to be robust in dealing with small errors in displacement estimation and larger errors in the boundary values of the parameters. The method is also tested on displacement fields calculated from series of real ultrasound images. The validity of modelling the ultrasound elasticity imaging process as a 2-d problem is discussed. The assumption of plane strain is shown not to be valid and methods for extending the parameter recovery method to 3 dimensions once 3-d ultrasound becomes more widely used are described (but not implemented).
Supervisor: Gavaghan, David ; Chapman, Jonathan S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Elasticity ; Mathematical models ; Tissues ; Mechanical properties ; Lagrange equations