Surface acoustic wave (SAW) elastography has been proven to be a non-invasive, non-destructive method for accurately characterizing tissue elastic properties. Current SAW elastography technique tracks generated surface acoustic wave impulse point by point which are a few millimeters away. Thus, reconstructed elastography has low lateral resolution. To improve the lateral resolution of current SAW elastography, a new method was proposed in this research. A M-B scan mode, high spatial resolution phase sensitive optical coherence tomography (PhS-OCT) system was employed to track the ultrasonically induced SAW impulse. Ex-vivo porcine skin specimen was tested using this proposed method. A 2D fast Fourier transform based algorithm was applied to process the acquired data for estimating the surface acoustic wave dispersion curve and its corresponding penetration depth. Then, the ex-vivo porcine skin elastogram was established by relating the surface acoustic wave dispersion curve and its corresponding penetration depth. The result from the proposed method shows higher lateral resolution than that from current SAW elastography technique, and the approximated skin elastogram could also distinguish the different layers in the skin specimen, i.e. epidermis, dermis and fat layer. This proposed SAW elastography technique may have a large potential to be widely applied in clinical use for skin disease diagnosis and treatment monitoring.
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