An Efficient Finite Element Algorithm in Elastography

Eric Li, W. H. Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Elastography is an imaging approach to measure the stiffness of tissues to provide diagnostic information. Currently, finite element method (FEM) has been widely used in elastography. However, FEM tends to an overly stiff model that sometimes gives unsatisfactory accuracy, particularly using triangular elements in 2D or tetrahedral elements in 3D. In general, it is difficult or even impossible to generate quadrilateral or brick elements to precisely capture the anatomic details for mechanobiologic modeling as the biologic system can be rather sophisticated. In addition, biologic soft tissues are often considered as "incompressible" materials, where conventional FEM could suffer from volumetric locking in numerical solution. On the other hand, linear triangular and tetrahedral mesh can be automatically generated for complicated geometry, which significantly saves the time for the creation of model. With these reasons, for the first time, smoothed finite element method (SFEM) is developed to analyze elastography problems. A range of numerical examples, including static, dynamic, viscoelastic and time harmonic cases have exemplified herein to validate that SFEM is able to provide more accurate and stable solutions using the same set of mesh compared with the standard FEM. Furthermore, SFEM is also effective to inversely compute the mechanical properties of abnormal tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1650037
JournalInternational Journal of Applied Mechanics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 May 2016


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