In this paper, we have investigated the feasibility of imaging the mechanical behavior of poroelastic materials using axial strain elastography. Cylindrical samples obtained from poroelastic materials having different elastic and permeability properties were subjected to a constant compression force (a classical creep experiment), during which poroelastographic data were acquired. For comparison, we also tested a few gelatin phantoms and non-homogeneous poroelastic phantoms constructed by combining different poroelastic materials. From the acquired data, we generated time-dependent sequences of axial strain elastograms and effective Poisson's ratio elastograms, which were then used for generating axial strain and effective Poisson's ratio time-constant elastograms. Thereafter, the various poroelastographic images were analyzed to evaluate the presence of statistically significant differences among the two types of poroelastic samples and for image quality analysis. The results of this study demonstrate that it is technically feasible to use axial strain elastography to distinguish among homogeneous poroelastic materials characterized by different elastic and permeability properties. They also show that the use of axial strain elastography instead of effective Poisson's ratio elastography results in objectively higher quality poroelastograms of the temporal behavior of the poroelastic materials under loading. However, the use of effective Poisson's ratio elastography may in any case be required to verify that the temporal changes occurring in the axial strains of the homogeneous poroelastic samples are also accompanied by temporal changes of the effective Poisson's ratios and are therefore due to poroelastic behavior.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging