SWAVE Ultrasound Elastography Eliminates Need for Biopsies

This story has been adapted from a story on the Mitacs website.

Organ health is often tested today by biopsy, which involves placing a needle into the body and taking a small tissue sample for analysis in a lab.

ICICS Electrical and Computer Engineering professors Tim Salcudean and Robert Rohling have invented a new technique to measure the health of tissue without a needle.

This technique is called Shear Wave Absolute Vibro-Elastography (SWAVE) and it measures tissue elasticity by recording the small shear waves that result when tissue is vibrated with a loudspeaker-like device pressed against the skin. Fast moving shear waves are found in hard tissue, and slow moving shear waves are found in soft tissue. Many diseases, like cancer or fibrosis, also often cause soft healthy tissue to change into hard tissue. Therefore, SWAVE can measure tissue health by comparing the measured value of a particular patient’s tissue elasticity/stiffness to a known range of healthy to diseased values.