Developing Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) breast actuation system for detecting breast cancer
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Engineering
It is well known in medicine that changes in tissue elasticity may be related to pathological phenomena such as cancer and other disease. Physicians routinely use palpation as means of inspecting the thyroid, prostate, and breast, where a palpably hard mass can often indicate the presence of a malignant lesion. Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) has emerged as a relatively new elasticity imaging technique which can be used to spatially map and measure displacement patterns resulting from harmonic shear-wave propagation in soft tissue. Displacement fields are then used in reconstructing the tissue’s elastic property distributions. The feasibility of using MRE as a noninvasive means of characterizing the mechanical properties of silicone phantom mimicking human breast, was investigated though experiments involving MRE acquisitions of four phantoms. To achieve sufficient excitation of the phantom tissue, an acoustic actuator was developed. The results of these studies have shown the MRE acquisition to be successful in capturing sufficient data for elastic parameter reconstruction. Another different type of actuator has been developed and tested in the laboratory. The results show the potential for future use of this actuator in MRE experiments.