Link to DOI – 10.1088/1742-6596/1131/1/012014
J. Phys. Conf. Ser. 2018
The mechanical properties of organic materials are relevant to biological processes at many scales. For example, pathological and physiological changes in tissue can often be detected by monitoring their elastic properties. At another scale, the stiffness of the substrate has a direct influence on cell function and differentiation. However, current elastographic methods do not yet cover all spatial scales and require complex and expensive experimental setups. In this work, we present a method that could be easily implemented in biology laboratories by using any available fluorescent microscope, regardless of its resolution, and a piezoelectric actuator. To this end, we have developed a variational framework that integrates multiple measurements into a PDE-constrained minimization of a customized image motion descriptor. Preliminary results with a linearly elastic PDE model show that this method is able to extract reliable maps of the rigidity modulus under the noisy imaging conditions characteristic of conventional microscopy and within the deformation ranges of commercially available actuators.