Passive elastography

Project Description

The passive elastography project is inspired by physics and seismology. In seismology, coda-wave interferometry also known as noise correlation technique, has deeply impacted the discipline: it allows to conduct ground tomography at anytime and anywhere on the earth. Instead of seisms, this technique uses what has been long rejected from the data, namely noise. The specificity of noise fields induced by ocean or human activities permits to extract the information on mechanical properties of the ground. This approach is known in physics as time reversal. It is our bet in this project to apply this fruitful concept in medical imaging. More precisely, our short term next two years objective, in total rupture with any other program research on the subject, is to prove the potential of noise correlation in elastography. Indeed, natural physiological noise exists in the human body as well. Pulsatility of the blood system, cardiac beatings or muscle activities are all playing the role of shear wave sources. The feasibility principle was demonstrated in the human liver, the human thyroid, using ultrasounds, in the human brain using and MRI system and in a living rat cornea using Optical Coherence Tomography (see Figure).


  • Stefan Catheline (DR INSERM)
  • Olivier Rouvière (PUPH)
  • Sabine Roman (MCUPH)
  • Rémi Souchon (AI)
  • Ali Zorgani (Post-doc)
  • Bruno Giammarinaro (Post-doc)
  • Victor Delattre (Ing)



  • Institut Langevin: M.Fink, C.Boccara, T.M.Nguyen, A.Nahas
  • CHUM, University of Montreal: G.Cloutier, P.Grasland-Mongrain
  • INSA, University of Lyon : Alain Combescure, Aline Bel-brunon ,Wenfeng Ye