Mechanical imaging in medical applications

Annu Int Conf IEEE Eng Med Biol Soc. 2009;2009:1975-8. doi: 10.1109/IEMBS.2009.5333445.


Mechanical Imaging (MI), a.k.a. tactile imaging or stress imaging, is a branch of Elasticity Imaging, a medical diagnostic technique based on the visualization of tissue internal structures in terms of their elasticity modulus. During the last decade, numerous methods and devices have been developed implementing MI technology in various medical applications, such as the visualization and evaluation of prostate conditions, breast cancer screening, the differentiation of benign and malignant lesions, and the characterization of vaginal wall elasticity. This paper presents an overview of MI technology and its applications, strengths and limitations. Results of laboratory and clinical studies clearly indicate that Mechanical Imaging devices have the potential to be used as a cost effective means for cancer screening as well as diagnostics of various diseases accompanied by changes of mechanical properties of soft tissues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Breast / anatomy & histology
  • Breast Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods
  • Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Phantoms, Imaging*
  • Pressure
  • Prostate / anatomy & histology
  • Prostate / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Prostatic Diseases / pathology
  • ROC Curve
  • Stress, Mechanical
  • Ultrasonography, Mammary
  • Vagina / diagnostic imaging