Tomographic elastography of contracting skeletal muscles from their natural vibrations

Sabra, Karim G.; Archer, Akibi
November 2009
Applied Physics Letters;11/16/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 20, p203701
Academic Journal
Conventional elastography techniques require an external mechanical or radiation excitation to measure noninvasively the viscoelastic properties of skeletal muscles and thus monitor human motor functions. We developed instead a passive elastography technique using only an array of skin-mounted accelerometers to record the low-frequency vibrations of the biceps brachii muscle naturally generated during voluntary contractions and to determine their two-dimensional directionality. Cross-correlating these recordings provided travel-times measurements of these muscle vibrations between multiple sensor pairs. Travel-time tomographic inversions yielded spatial variations of their propagation velocity during isometric elbow flexions which indicated a nonuniform longitudinal stiffening of the biceps.


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