Lamb wave dispersion ultrasound vibrometry (LDUV) method for quantifying mechanical properties of viscoelastic solids

Ivan Z. Nenadic, Matthew W. Urban, Scott A. Mitchell, James F. Greenleaf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


Diastolic dysfunction is the inability of the left ventricle to supply sufficient stroke volumes under normal physiological conditions and is often accompanied by stiffening of the left-ventricular myocardium. A noninvasive technique capable of quantifying viscoelasticity of the myocardium would be beneficial in clinical settings. Our group has been investigating the use of shear wave dispersion ultrasound vibrometry (SDUV), a noninvasive ultrasound-based method for quantifying viscoelasticity of soft tissues. The primary motive of this study is the design and testing of viscoelastic materials suitable for validation of the Lamb wave dispersion ultrasound vibrometry (LDUV), an SDUV-based technique for measuring viscoelasticity of tissues with plate-like geometry. We report the results of quantifying viscoelasticity of urethane rubber and gelatin samples using LDUV and an embedded sphere method. The LDUV method was used to excite antisymmetric Lamb waves and measure the dispersion in urethane rubber and gelatin plates. An antisymmetric Lamb wave model was fitted to the wave speed dispersion data to estimate elasticity and viscosity of the materials. A finite element model of a viscoelastic plate submerged in water was used to study the appropriateness of the Lamb wave dispersion equations. An embedded sphere method was used as an independent measurement of the viscoelasticity of the urethane rubber and gelatin. The FEM dispersion data were in excellent agreement with the theoretical predictions. Viscoelasticity of the urethane rubber and gelatin obtained using the LDUV and embedded sphere methods agreed within one standard deviation. LDUV studies on excised porcine myocardium sample were performed to investigate the feasibility of the approach in preparation for open-chest in vivo studies. The results suggest that the LDUV technique can be used to quantify the mechanical properties of soft tissues with a plate-like geometry.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2245-2264
Number of pages20
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 7 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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