We report on an optical noncontact method for the detection of soft-tissue tumors based on the measurement of their elasticity. A focused air-puff system is used to excite surface waves (SWs) on soft tissues with transient static pressure. A high-speed phase-sensitive optical coherence tomography system is used to measure the SWs as they propagate from the point of excitation. To evaluate the stiffness of soft tissues, the Young’s modulus is quantified based on the group velocity of SWs. Pilot experiments were performed on ex vivo human myxoma and normal fat. Results demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method to measure elasticity and differentiate soft-tissue tumors from normal tissues.
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