Local mechanical properties of white matter structures in the human brain

Curtis L. Johnson, Matthew D.J. McGarry, Armen A. Gharibans, John B. Weaver, Keith D. Paulsen, Huan Wang, William C. Olivero, Bradley P. Sutton, John G Georgiadis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The noninvasive measurement of the mechanical properties of brain tissue using magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) has emerged as a promising method for investigating neurological disorders. To date, brain MRE investigations have been limited to reporting global mechanical properties, though quantification of the stiffness of specific structures in the white matter architecture may be valuable in assessing the localized effects of disease. This paper reports the mechanical properties of the corpus callosum and corona radiata measured in healthy volunteers using MRE and atlas-based segmentation. Both structures were found to be significantly stiffer than overall white matter, with the corpus callosum exhibiting greater stiffness and less viscous damping than the corona radiata. Reliability of both local and global measures was assessed through repeated experiments, and the coefficient of variation for each measure was less than 10%. Mechanical properties within the corpus callosum and corona radiata demonstrated correlations with measures from diffusion tensor imaging pertaining to axonal microstructure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)145-152
Number of pages8
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013


  • Brain
  • Corpus callosum
  • Elastography
  • Microstructure
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology


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