Shear wave measurement enables quantitative assessment of tissue viscoelasticity. In previous studies, a transverse shear wave was measured using optical coherence elastography (OCE), which gives poor resolution along the force direction because the shear wave propagates perpendicular to the applied force. In this study, for the first time to our knowledge, we introduce an OCE method to detect a longitudinally polarized shear wave that propagates along the force direction. The direction of vibration induced by a piezo transducer (PZT) is parallel to the direction of wave propagation, which is perpendicular to the OCT beam. A Doppler variance method is used to visualize the transverse displacement. Both homogeneous phantoms and a side-by-side two-layer phantom were measured. The elastic moduli from mechanical tests closely matched to the values measured by the OCE system. Furthermore, we developed 3D computational models using finite element analysis to confirm the shear wave propagation in the longitudinal direction. The simulation shows that a longitudinally polarized shear wave is present as a plane wave in the near field of planar source due to diffraction effects. This imaging technique provides a novel method for the assessment of elastic properties along the force direction, which can be especially useful to image a layered tissue.
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