Biomechanical assessment of plantar foot tissue in diabetic patients using an ultrasound indentation system

Yongping Zheng, Y. K.C. Choi, K. Wong, S. Chan, A. F.T. Mak

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

142 Citations (Scopus)


The biomechanical properties of plantar tissues were investigated for four older neuropathic diabetic patients and four healthy younger subjects. Indentation tests were performed at four high-pressure areas with three postures in each subject. The tissue thickness and effective Young's modulus were measured by an ultrasound (US) indentation system. The system comprised a pen-size probe having a US transducer at the tip and a load cell connected in series with it. Results showed that the plantar soft tissues of the elderly diabetic patients were significantly stiffer and thinner when compared with the healthy young subjects. For the diabetic subjects tested, the Young's modulus at the 1st metatarsal head was significantly larger than those at the other three sites. This site-dependence was not observed in the healthy young subjects. The plantar tissue became significantly stiffer in the healthy young subjects as a result of posture changes. This posture-dependence of the Young's modulus was not established for the elderly diabetic group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)451-456
Number of pages6
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2000


  • Biomechanics
  • Diabetic foot
  • Indentation test
  • Plantar tissue
  • Ulceration
  • Ultrasound instrumentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Biophysics
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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