Changes in tissue biomechanical properties often signify the onset and progression of diseases, such as in determining the vulnerability of atherosclerotic plaques. Acoustic radiation force optical coherence elastography (ARF-OCE) has been used in the detection of tissue elasticity to obtain high-resolution elasticity maps. We have developed a probe-based ARF-OCE technology that utilizes a miniature 10 MHz ring ultrasonic transducer for excitation and Doppler optical coherence tomography (OCT) for detection. The transducer has a small hole in the center for the OCT light to propagate through. This allows for a confocal stress field and light detection within a small region for high sensitivity and localized excitation. This device is a front-facing probe that is only 3.5 mm in diameter and it is the smallest ARF-OCE catheter to the best of our knowledge. We have tested the feasibility of the probe by measuring the point displacement of an agarose tissue-mimicking phantom using different ARF excitation voltages. Small displacement values ranging from 30 nm to 90 nm have been detected and are shown to be directly proportional to the excitation voltage as expected. We are currently working on obtaining 2D images using a scanning mechanism. We will be testing to capture 2D elastograms of phantoms to further verify feasibility, and eventually characterize the mechanical properties of cardiovascular tissue. With its high portability and sensitivity, this novel technology can be applied to the diagnosis and characterization of vulnerable atherosclerotic plaques.
Yueqiao Qu, Teng Ma, Youmin He, Mingyue Yu, Rui Li, Jiang Zhu, Cuixia Dai, Zhonglie Piao, K. Kirk Shung, Qifa Zhou, and Zhongping Chen, "Miniature probe for mechanical properties of vascular lesions using acoustic radiation force optical coherence elastography
(Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 9710, Optical Elastography and Tissue Biomechanics III, 97100L (Presented at SPIE BiOS: February 14, 2016; Published: 27 April 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2208390.4848677991001.
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