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Stefan Catheline received the Diplome d’Etudes Approfondies (M.Sc. degree) in physics and acoustics (1994), his Ph.D. degree in physics (1998) from University of Paris VII (Denis Diderot) for his work on transient elastography and his “Habilitation de Recherche” in 2006.

After a post doc at the University of California, San Diego, he become an assistant Professor at University of Paris VII in 1999 and joined the laboratory Ondes et Acoustique at the Ecole Supérieur de Physique et de Chimie Industrielle de la ville de Paris (ESPCI). From 2005, he has been working for a two years mission at the University of Montevideo (Uruguay) and was assistant Professor at University of Grenoble at Isterre until 2012. He is now Director of research at INSERM unit 1032, in the Laboratory of Therapeutic Applications of Ultrasound (LabTAU) directed by Jean-Yves Chapelon in Lyon. His current research activities at the head of the team “Ondes et instrumentation” include acoustic topics such as elastography, time reversal, seismology, reverberant cavities, nonlinear elasticity, tactile interface, source localization as well as HIFU. He holds 8 patents in the field of ultrasound and seismology and wrote more than 100 articles. He has been co-founder of two companies: Sensitive Object in the field of acoustic interactivity and SEISME in the field of elastography.


He has been member of the following laboratories:

- LOA now the Institut Langevin, ESPCI, University of Paris

- MPL Scripps Institute, University of California, San Diego, USA

- LAU Instituto de Fisica de Montevideo, Uruguay

- LGIT, now the Institut des Sciences de la Terre, University of Grenoble


Books and press

Matériaux et Acoustique (Hermès), M.Bruneau, C.Pottel. Stefan Catheline et Rémi Souchon 2007, Chapitre 32 : Elastographie.

Stefan Catheline, Etudes expérimentales en acoustique (Ed. Univ. Europ. 2010).

Ultrasound Elastography for biomedical application and medicine, (Ed. Elsevier 2016)

Innovative Ultrasound Imaging Techniques, Lori Bridal. Stefan Catheline et Bruno Giammarinaro Chapitre 3, to be published 2023.

More than 60 national and international press (article), radio (interview), and TV media


More than 100 publications in international peer-review journals

70 invited conferences, for example

11 international patents,

Co-founder of two companies: SEISME and Sensitive Object.


Research activities

Acoustic: Time reversal interactivity, smart acoustic antennas, complex field and reverberation in cavities, coherent backscattering and Berry’s phase.

Medical ultrasounds and elastic field: Elastography, elastic wave tomography in soft solids, anisotropy and non linear waves in soft tissues

Numerical modelisation : Finite difference simulations of acoustic, elastic and flexion waves.

Industrial collaborations with EDAP, EyeTechCare, ANSYS, MedTronics.

- 2003: “Paris Innovation Award” for Reversys Project on acoustic tactile interactive devices.

- 2005: University of Paris7 / University of Montevideo 2 years Fellowship at Instituto de Fisica.

- 2006 : Best IST Exhibit Howard pour le projet européen TAI-CHI

- 2007: University of Paris7 / CNRS 1  year Fellowship at Institut des Sciences de la Terre.

- 2014 Saint-Gobain award of the French Society of Physics for the PhD thesis of Pol Grasland-Mongrain

- 2018: Outstanding Contribution, International Tissue Elasticity Conference.

- 2018: Certificate of Appreciation as invited Speaker, IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium.

Selection of papers (7) with short description:

  • S. Catheline, F. Wu, M. Fink, A solution to diffraction biases in sonoelasticity: The acoustic impulse technique, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 105 (5), 2941, 1999

Applied Physics. This paper describes for the first time transient elastography. This technique is used in the  Fibroscan®, a commercial device made by Echosens for hepatic deseases diagnostic.

  • Catheline, Gennisson, Tanter Fink, Observation of Shock Transverse Waves in Elastic Media, Phys.Rev.Lett. 91, 43011, 2003

    Academic Physics. 56 years after the observation of a non linear acoustic wave, this paper describes the experimental observation of a non linear transverse wave. It suggests the existence of a relation ship between linear and non linear elastic coefficients, not described at that time by standard theory of elasticity.
  • Ing, Quieffin, Catheline, Fink, In solid localization of finger impacts using acoustic time-reversal process, Appl. Phys. Lett., 87 , 204104, 2005

    Applied Physics. This paper is at the origin of the first commercial application of time reversal in the field of acoustic interactivity. It is  now part of the  Sensitive Object® technology
  • S. Catheline, N. Benech, X. Brum, and C. Negreira, Time reversal of elastic waves in soft solids, Phys.Rev.Letter, 100,  064301, 2008.

    Academic Physics. Transient elastography allows to observe time reversal of elastic waves inside a soft solid. The Rayleigh criteria for solid imaging is direction dependant. This experiment opens up the way to time reversal tomography of soft tissues
  • T.Gallot, S. Catheline, P. Roux, J. Brum, N. Benech, C. Negreira, Passive elastography: Shear wave tomography from physiological noise correlation in soft tissues, IEEE Transactions on UFFC, vol. 58, no. 6, June 2011.

    Applied Physics. In this paper, an elastography experiment is conducted in vivo in the liver. The novelty is that no shear wave sources are used for the tomography reconstruction. Natural vibrations created by muscles activities (heart) are used in this first passive elastography imaging
  • A. Zorgani, R. Souchon, A. Hoang-Dinh, J-Y Chapelon, J-M Ménager, S. Lounis, O. Rouvière, and S. Catheline, 

Brain palpation from physiological vibrations using MRI, PNAS, 112 (42) 12917-12921, (2015)

Medical imaging: Natural vibration together with an MRI visualisation is used to obtain a passive elastography map of the brain.

  • P. Grasland-Mongrain, A. Zorgani, S. Nakagawa, S.Bernard, G. Fitzharris, G. Cloutier, S. Catheline,

Optical microelastography: ultrafast imaging of cell elasticity. PNAS, 15 janvier 2018.

Biomechanical imaging: Elasticity of a single cell using microseisms opens the way to optical microelastography.


Wide audience communication:

[1.] PourLaScience 9 février 2018

Les premiers pas de la sismologie cellulaire

[2.] Science&vie 22 janvier 2018

Ils inventent la sismologie cellulaire

[3.]Sciences et Avenir-28 juin 2017

Cancer : vers un diagnostic grâce aux ondes sismiques produites

[4.] LE PROGRES 9 novembre 2015

[5.] LE POINT 6 novembre 2015

[6.] OUEST FRANCE 8 octobre 2015

[7.] La Recherche  # 506 Décembre 2015

Palper le cerveau avec des images

[8.] Pour la Science # 458 Décembre 2015

Palper virtuellement le cerveau

[9.] “Inverser les ondes pour communiquer voir et soigner” par Hervé Morin, Le Monde, 18 Mai 2005.

[10.] "Knock 3 Times on the Ceiling (to Turn on the DVD Player)" par Anne Eisenberg, NewYork time, 1 juillet 2004.


Interviews: Radio Television Suisse, Europe1