Volumetric quantitative optical coherence elastography with an iterative inversion method

L. I. Dong, Philip Wijesinghe, David D. Sampson, Brendan F. Kennedy, Peter R.T. Munro, Assad A. Oberai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)


It is widely accepted that accurate mechanical properties of three-dimensional soft tissues and cellular samples are not available on the microscale. Current methods based on optical coherence elastography can measure displacements at the necessary resolution, and over the volumes required for this task. However, in converting this data to maps of elastic properties, they often impose assumptions regarding homogeneity in stress or elastic properties that are violated in most realistic scenarios. Here, we introduce novel, rigorous, and computationally efficient inverse problem techniques that do not make these assumptions, to realize quantitative volumetric elasticity imaging on the microscale. Specifically, we iteratively solve the three-dimensional elasticity inverse problem using displacement maps obtained from compression optical coherence elastography. This is made computationally feasible with adaptive mesh refinement and domain decomposition methods. By employing a transparent, compliant surface layer with known shear modulus as a reference for the measurement, absolute shear modulus values are produced within a millimeter-scale sample volume. We demonstrate the method on phantoms, on a breast cancer sample ex vivo, and on human skin in vivo. Quantitative elastography on this length scale will find wide application in cell biology, tissue engineering and medicine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-398
Number of pages15
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number2
Early online date3 Jan 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


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