Bone-soft tissue friction is an important factor affecting several musculoskeletal disorders, frictional syndromes and the ability of a bone fracture to heal. However, this parameter is difficult to determine using non-invasive imaging modalities, especially in clinical settings. Ultrasound axial shear strain elastography is a non-invasive imaging modality that has been used in the recent past to estimate the bonding between different tissue layers. As most elastography methods, axial shear strain elastography is primarily used in soft tissues. More recently, this technique has been proposed to assess the bone-soft tissue interface. In this paper, we investigate the effect of a variation in bone-soft tissue friction coefficient in the resulting axial shear strain elastograms. Finite element poroelastic models of bone specimens exhibiting different bone-soft tissue friction coefficients were created and mechanically analyzed. These models were then imported to an ultrasound elastography simulation module to assess the presence of axial shear strain patterns. In vitro experiments were performed to corroborate selected simulation results. The results of this study show that the normalized axial shear strain estimated at the bone-soft tissue interface is statistically correlated to the bone-soft tissue coefficient of friction. This information may prove useful to better interpret ultrasound elastography results obtained in bone-related applications and, possibly, monitor bone healing.
- bone imaging
- bone mechanical properties
- static friction
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging