Elastography is a non-invasive imaging technique that images tissue stiffness. Given the well known association between
tissue stiffness and cancer type, it can be used effectively for breast cancer detection and assessment. This study involves
system development of a real-time ultrasound based elastography system designed for assessing multifocal breast cancer.
This system is capable of imaging breast tissues absolute Young's Moduli. The imaging involves tissue mechanical
stimulation, displacement and force data acquisition followed by Young's modulus reconstruction using a constrained
full-inversion approach. This approach utilizes axial strain field and surface force data acquired by the elastography
system via an iterative numerical process to construct the breast tissue Young's modulus. The strain field is obtained
using an ultrasound machine equipped with an RF signal processing module. For force data acquisition, a system
comprised of two load cells attached at the ultrasound system probe was employed. Each iteration of the reconstruction
algorithm involves tissue stress calculation followed by tissue Young's modulus updating. To speed up the
reconstruction process, a novel accelerated finite element method developed in our laboratory was used for stress
calculation. To validate the proposed method, tissue-mimicking phantom studies were conducted. These studies showed
promising results paving the way for further validation and application in a clinical setting.