Viscoelastic properties of mouse brain tissue were estimated non-invasively, in vivo, using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) at 4.7 T to measure the dispersive properties of induced shear waves. Key features of this study include (i) the development and application of a novel MR-compatible actuation system which transmits vibratory motion into the brain through an incisor bar, and (ii) the investigation of the mechanical properties of brain tissue over a 1200 Hz bandwidth from 600-1800 Hz. Displacement fields due to propagating shear waves were measured during continuous, harmonic excitation of the skull. This protocol enabled characterization of the true steady-state patterns of shear wave propagation. Analysis of displacement fields obtained at different frequencies indicates that the viscoelastic properties of mouse brain tissue depend strongly on frequency. The average storage modulus (G′) increased from approximately 1.6 to 8 kPa over this range; average loss modulus (G″) increased from approximately 1 to 3 kPa. Both moduli were well approximated by a power-law relationship over this frequency range. MRE may be a valuable addition to studies of disease in murine models, and to pre-clinical evaluations of therapies. Quantitative measurements of the viscoelastic parameters of brain tissue at high frequencies are also valuable for modeling and simulation of traumatic brain injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2391-2406
Number of pages16
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 21 2011


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