Ultrasound Elasticity Imaging for Monitoring Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms

doctor conducting an ultrasound exam on a patient

Department of Biomedical Engineering
Co-hosted by the Semcer Center for Healthcare Innovation

Location: Gateway North 103, Corcoran Room

Speaker: Michael S. Richards, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Rochester Institute of Technology


The necessity of surgical intervention of abdominal aorta aneurysms (AAA) is based on a risk-reduction paradigm primarily relying on trans-abdominal ultrasound (US) measurements of the maximum diameter of an AAA. Model-based ultrasound elastography, or elasticity imaging, is an adjunct imaging technique that can be used to measure changes in the mechanical properties of AAA vessels and potentially provide point of care information on the stress within the tissue. Our hypothesis is that this information may be used by clinicians to improve risk assessment for surgical interventions. Here, I will discuss the imaging protocols and computational algorithms used in our assessments. I will also present results of modulus reconstructions found from validating simulations, experiments of tissue-mimicking phantoms, and a small clinical study. I will show that our techniques can identify changes in tissue stiffness and stress that may be used as a surrogate for the relative health of AAA tissue. Lastly, I will discuss some novel ways my lab is incorporating convolutional neural networks in our study of AAA mechanics.


Portrait of Michael Richards

Dr. Richards received his BS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Rochester followed by his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Boston University. He has had postdoctoral positions at the University of Michigan and the University of Rochester before becoming a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery in the University of Rochester Medical Center. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Dr. Richards’s group, the Biomechanical Imaging Lab, focuses on the biomechanics of soft tissues and measuring the changes in mechanical properties of diseased tissues using clinical imaging modalities. The computational aspects of the lab are centered around developing improved motion estimation algorithms and novel methods for solving the inverse problems associated with elasticity imaging. Specific applications include investigation of musculoskeletal pathologies, such as Achilles tendinopathy and the mechanical changes associated with healing and scar formation in tendons. His primary focus is the measurement of the mechanical property changes associated with abdominal aortic aneurysm stability or growth.

Visit the CHI Seminar page to view the fall 2023 seminar schedule.