Parametric imaging of viscoelasticity using optical coherence elastography

Philip Wijesinghe, Robert A. McLaughlin, David D. Sampson, Brendan F. Kennedy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate imaging of soft tissue viscoelasticity using optical coherence elastography. Viscoelastic creep deformation is induced in tissue using step-like compressive loading and the resulting time-varying deformation is measured using phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography. From a series of co-located B-scans, we estimate the local strain rate as a function of time, and parameterize it using a four-parameter Kelvin-Voigt model of viscoelastic creep. The estimated viscoelastic strain and time constant are used to visualize viscoelastic creep in 2D, dual-parameter viscoelastograms. We demonstrate our technique on six silicone tissue-simulating phantoms spanning a range of viscoelastic parameters. As an example in soft tissue, we report viscoelastic contrast between muscle and connective tissue in fresh, ex vivo rat gastrocnemius muscle and mouse abdominal transection. Imaging viscoelastic creep deformation has the potential to provide complementary contrast to existing imaging modalities, and may provide greater insight into disease pathology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2293-2307
Number of pages15
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Mar 2015


  • biomechanical properties
  • optical coherence elastography
  • viscoelastic creep


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