A novel noncontact ultrasound indentation system for measurement of tissue material properties using water jet compression

M. H. Lu, Yongping Zheng, Q. H. Huang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

37 Citations (Scopus)


This study is aimed to develop a novel noncontact ultrasonic indentation system for measuring quantitative mechanical properties of soft tissues, which are increasingly important for tissue assessment and characterization. The key idea of this method is to use a water jet as an indenter to compress the soft tissue while at the same time as a medium for an ultrasound beam to propagate through. The use of water jet indentation does not require a rigid compressor in front of the focused high frequency ultrasound transducer to compress the tissue, so that the additional attenuation caused by the rigid compressor and the strong echoes reflected from its surfaces can be avoided. The indentation deformation was estimated from the ultrasound echoes using a cross-correlation algorithm and the indentation force was calculated from the water pressure measured inside the water pipe. Experiments were performed on uniform tissue-mimicking phantoms with different stiffness. The Young's moduli and Poisson's ratios of these phantoms were measured using a uniaxial ultrasound compression system. The ratio of the indentation pressure to the tissue relative deformation was obtained from the water indentation. This ratio was well correlated with the Young's modulus (r = 0.87). The results also demonstrated that the water indentation approach could differentiate materials with different stiffness in a combined phantom (288 kPa and 433 kPa). This novel noncontact water indentation approach could be potentially used for the measurement of the elasticity of small samples and with a fast scanning speed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)817-826
Number of pages10
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005


  • High-frequency ultrasound
  • Indentation
  • Nanoindentation
  • Noncontact
  • Tissue
  • Ultrasound
  • Ultrasound indentation
  • Water jet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'A novel noncontact ultrasound indentation system for measurement of tissue material properties using water jet compression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this