Inverse method for estimating elastic modulus of arterial walls

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Pulse wave velocity (PWV) is widely used for estimating the stiffness of an artery. It is well known that a stiffened artery can be associated with various diseases and with aging and disease. Usually, PWV is measured using the "foot-to-foot" method. The "foot" of the pressure wave is not clear due to reflected waves and blood noise. Also, PWV is an average indicator of artery stiffness between the two measuring points, and therefore does not identify local stiffness variations. We propose producing a flexural wave in the arterial wall using low frequency localized ultrasound radiation force and measuring the wave velocity along the arterial wall. The wave velocity can be measured accurately over a few millimeters. A mathematical model for wave propagation along the artery is developed with which the Young's modulus of the artery can be determined from measured wave velocities. Experiments were conducted on a pig carotid artery in gelatin. The wave velocity was measured by the phase change at a known distance for a given frequency. The measured wave velocity is about 3 m/s at 100 Hz and 6.5 m/s at 500 Hz. The real part of complex elastic modulus of the artery is estimated to be 300 kPa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)226-235
Number of pages10
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2004
EventMedical Imaging 2004: Physics of Medical Imaging - San Diego, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 15 2004Feb 17 2004


  • Artery
  • Elastic modulus
  • Pulse wave velocity
  • Radial dilation
  • Ultrasound
  • Viscoelasticity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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