The mechanical properties of tissue are pivotal in its function and behavior, and are often modified by disease. From the nano- to the macro–scale, many tools have been developed to measure tissue mechanical properties, both to understand the contribution of mechanics in the origin of disease and to improve diagnosis. Optical coherence elastography is applicable to the intermediate scale, between that of cells and whole organs, which is critical in the progression of many diseases and not widely studied to date. In optical coherence elastography, a mechanical load is imparted to a tissue and the resulting deformation is measured using optical coherence tomography. The deformation is used to deduce a mechanical parameter, e.g., Young’s modulus, which is mapped into an image, known as an elastogram. In this chapter, we review the development of optical coherence elastography and report on the latest developments. We provide a focus on the underlying principles and assumptions, techniques to measure deformation, loading mechanisms, imaging probes and modeling, including the inverse elasticity problem.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Coherence Tomography
Subtitle of host publicationTechnology and Applications, Second Edition
Number of pages48
ISBN (Electronic)9783319064192
ISBN (Print)9783319064185
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Biomechanics
  • Cell mechanics
  • Elastography
  • Optical elastography
  • Soft tissue
  • Tissue mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Medicine
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Engineering


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