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A novel magnetic resonance elastography transducer concept based on a rotational eccentric mass: preliminary experiences with the gravitational transducer

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Jurgen Henk Runge, Stefan Heinz Hoelzl, Jelizaveta Sudakova, Ayse Sila Dokumaci, Jules Laurent Nelissen, Christian Guenthner, Jack Lee, Marian Troelstra, Daniel Fovargue, Jaap Stoker, Aart Johannes Nederveen, David Nordsletten, Ralph Sinkus

Original languageEnglish
Article number045007
Number of pages1
JournalPhysics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 6 Feb 2019

King's Authors


BACKGROUND: Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) is used to non-invasively estimate biomechanical tissue properties via the imaging of propagating mechanical shear waves. Several factors including mechanical transducer design, MRI sequence design and viscoelastic reconstruction influence data quality and hence the reliability of the derived biomechanical properties. PURPOSE: To design and characterize a novel mechanical MRE transducer concept based on a rotational eccentric mass, coined the gravitational transducer. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Table top measurements were performed using accelerometers to characterize the frequency response of the new transducer concept at different driving frequencies (f VIB) and different rotating masses. These were compared to a commercially available pneumatically driven MRE transducer. MR data were acquired on a 3T scanner using a fractionally encoded gradient echo MRE sequence in three healthy volunteers. Acceleration and displacement spectra were plotted in units of g and mm, respectively, and visually compared, emphasizing the ratio between the peaks at f VIB and its 2nd harmonic, a known cause of error in the reconstruction of biomechanical properties as is explored in more detail in numerical simulations here. No formal statistical testing was performed in this proof-of-principle paper. RESULTS: The new transducer concept shows-as expected from theory-a quadratic or linear increase of acceleration amplitude with increase in f VIB or mass, respectively. Furthermore, different versions of the transducer show markedly lower 2nd harmonic-to-f VIB ratios compared to the commercially available pneumatically driven transducer. Displacement was constant over a range of f VIB, in accordance with theory. Phantom and in vivo data show low nonlinearity and excellent data quality. CONCLUSION: The table top measurements are in concordance with the theory behind a transducer based on a rotational eccentric mass. The resulting constant displacement amplitude irrespective of f VIB and low 2nd harmonic-to-f VIB ratio result in low nonlinearity and high data fidelity in both phantom and in vivo examples.

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