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Multiskalare Elastographie

Multiscale elastography for the characterisation of pathological changes in the extracellular matrix

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Project content

MR elastography (MRE) allows quantification of the mechanical properties of soft tissues for clinical diagnosis. In A01, multiscale MRE will be developed to determine the shear modulus of biological tissues from the submillimeter range, through mouse models, to the clinical range of whole organs for characterization of biophysical changes in the extracellular matrix (ECM). Using generic phantoms of ECM components as well as biological samples, multiscale MRE and viscoelastic modeling will be used to infer microscopic ECM changes in the course of pathological processes and to establish the methodology for biophysically-founded ECM-directed imaging.

Our team

Project Lead: 
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Ingolf Sack
Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Anja Hennemuth

PhD Candidates (PhD) and Postdoctoral Researchers (PostDoc):
Dr. rer. nat. Heiko Tzschätzsch (PostDoc)
Heloise Bustin (PhD)


  • Sack, I. Magnetic resonance elastography from fundamental soft-tissue mechanics to diagnostic imaging. Nat Rev Phys (2022). doi: 10.1038/s42254-022-00543-2.
  • Kreft B, Tzschätzsch H, Schrank F, Bergs J, Streitberger KJ, Wäldchen S, Hetzer S, Braun J, Sack I. Time-Resolved Response of Cerebral Stiffness to Hypercapnia in Humans. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Apr;46(4):936-943. doi: 10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2019.12.019. Epub 2020 Jan 28. Erratum in: Ultrasound Med Biol. 2020 Jun;46(6):1551. PMID: 32001088.

  • Everwien H, Ariza de Schellenberger A, Haep N, Tzschätzsch H, Pratschke J, Sauer IM, Braun J, Hillebrandt KH, Sack I. Magnetic resonance elastography quantification of the solid-to-fluid transition of liver tissue due to decellularization. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2020 Apr;104:103640. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2020.103640. Epub 2020 Jan 14. PMID: 32174398.
  • Herthum H, Dempsey SCH, Samani A, Schrank F, Shahryari M, Warmuth C, Tzschätzsch H, Braun J, Sack I. Superviscous properties of the in vivo brain at large scales. Acta Biomater. 2021 Feb;121:393-404. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2020.12.027. Epub 2020 Dec 14. PMID: 33326885.
  • de Schellenberger AA, Tzschätzsch H, Polchlopek B, Bertalan G, Schrank F, Garczynska K, Janmey PA, Braun J, Sack I. Sensitivity of multifrequency magnetic resonance elastography and diffusion-weighted imaging to cellular and stromal integrity of liver tissue. J Biomech. 2019 May 9;88:201-208. doi: 10.1016/j.jbiomech.2019.03.037. Epub 2019 Apr 2. PMID: 30961968.

  • Hetzer S, Hirsch S, Braun J, Sack I, Weygandt M. Viscoelasticity of striatal brain areas reflects variations in body mass index of lean to overweight male adults. Brain Imaging Behav. 2020 Dec;14(6):2477-2487. doi: 10.1007/s11682-019-00200-w. PMID: 31512097.

  • Shahryari M, Meyer T, Warmuth C, Herthum H, Bertalan G, Tzschätzsch H, Stencel L, Lukas S, Lilaj L, Braun J, Sack I. Reduction of breathing artifacts in multifrequency magnetic resonance elastography of the abdomen. Magn Reson Med. 2021 Apr;85(4):1962-1973. doi: 10.1002/mrm.28558. Epub 2020 Oct 26. PMID: 33104294.

  • Lilaj L, Herthum H, Meyer T, Shahryari M, Bertalan G, Caiazzo A, Braun J, Fischer T, Hirsch S, Sack I. Inversion-recovery MR elastography of the human brain for improved stiffness quantification near fluid-solid boundaries. Magn Reson Med. 2021 Nov;86(5):2552-2561. doi: 10.1002/mrm.28898. Epub 2021 Jun 28. PMID: 34184306.

  • Silva RV, Morr AS, Mueller S, Koch SP, Boehm-Sturm P, Rodriguez-Sillke Y, Kunkel D, Tzschätzsch H, Kühl AA, Schnorr J, Taupitz M, Sack I, Infante-Duarte C. Contribution of Tissue Inflammation and Blood-Brain Barrier Disruption to Brain Softening in a Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis. Front Neurosci. 2021 Aug 23;15:701308. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2021.701308. PMID: 34497486; PMCID: PMC8419310.

  • Garczyńska K, Tzschätzsch H, Assili S, Kühl AA, Häckel A, Schellenberger E, Berndt N, Holzhütter HG, Braun J, Sack I, Guo J. Effect of Post-mortem Interval and Perfusion on the Biophysical Properties of ex vivo Liver Tissue Investigated Longitudinally by MRE and DWI. Front Physiol. 2021 Aug 3;12:696304. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2021.696304. PMID: 34413787; PMCID: PMC8369239
  • Garczyńska K, Tzschätzsch H, Kühl AA, Morr AS, Lilaj L, Häckel A, Schellenberger E, Berndt N, Holzhütter HG, Braun J, Sack I, Guo J. Changes in Liver Mechanical Properties and Water Diffusivity During Normal Pregnancy Are Driven by Cellular Hypertrophy. Front Physiol. 2020 Nov 23;11:605205. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.605205. PMID: 33329058; PMCID: PMC7719759.

  • Herthum H, Shahryari M, Tzschätzsch H, Schrank F, Warmuth C, Görner S, Hetzer S, Neubauer H, Pfeuffer J, Braun J, Sack I. Real-Time Multifrequency MR Elastography of the Human Brain Reveals Rapid Changes in Viscoelasticity in Response to the Valsalva Maneuver. Front Bioeng Biotechnol. 2021 May 5;9:666456. doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2021.666456. PMID: 34026743; PMCID: PMC8131519.

  • Kreft B, Bergs J, Shahryari M, Danyel LA, Hetzer S, Braun J, Sack I, Tzschätzsch H. Cerebral Ultrasound Time-Harmonic Elastography Reveals Softening of the Human Brain Due to Dehydration. Front Physiol. 2021 Jan 11;11:616984. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2020.616984. PMID: 33505319; PMCID: PMC7830390.

  • Streitberger KJ, Lilaj L, Schrank F, Braun J, Hoffmann KT, Reiss-Zimmermann M, Käs JA, Sack I. How tissue fluidity influences brain tumor progression. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020 Jan 7;117(1):128-134. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1913511116. Epub 2019 Dec 16. PMID: 31843897; PMCID: PMC6955323.

  • Schrank F, Warmuth C, Tzschätzsch H, Kreft B, Hirsch S, Braun J, Elgeti T, Sack I. Cardiac-gated steady-state multifrequency magnetic resonance elastography of the brain: Effect of cerebral arterial pulsation on brain viscoelasticity. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2020 May;40(5):991-1001. doi: 10.1177/0271678X19850936. Epub 2019 May 29. PMID: 31142226; PMCID: PMC7181097.

  • Reiter R, Shahryari M, Tzschätzsch H, Klatt D, Siegmund B, Hamm B, Braun J, Sack I, Asbach P. Spatial heterogeneity of hepatic fibrosis in primary sclerosing cholangitis vs. viral hepatitis assessed by MR elastography. Sci Rep. 2021 May 10;11(1):9820. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-89372-4. PMID: 33972639; PMCID: PMC8110576.

  • Reiter R, Tzschätzsch H, Schwahofer F, Haas M, Bayerl C, Muche M, Klatt D, Majumdar S, Uyanik M, Hamm B, Braun J, Sack I, Asbach P. Diagnostic performance of tomoelastography of the liver and spleen for staging hepatic fibrosis. Eur Radiol. 2020 Mar;30(3):1719-1729. doi: 10.1007/s00330-019-06471-7. Epub 2019 Nov 11. PMID: 31712963; PMCID: PMC7033143.

  • Marticorena Garcia SR, Althoff CE, Dürr M, Halleck F, Budde K, Grittner U, Burkhardt C, Jöhrens K, Braun J, Fischer T, Hamm B, Sack I, Guo J. Tomoelastography for Longitudinal Monitoring of Viscoelasticity Changes in the Liver and in Renal Allografts after Direct-Acting Antiviral Treatment in 15 Kidney Transplant Recipients with Chronic HCV Infection. J Clin Med. 2021 Feb 1;10(3):510. doi: 10.3390/jcm10030510. PMID: 33535495; PMCID: PMC7867050.

  • Gültekin E, Wetz C, Braun J, Geisel D, Furth C, Hamm B, Sack I, Marticorena Garcia SR. Added Value of Tomoelastography for Characterization of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor Aggressiveness Based on Stiffness. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Oct 15;13(20):5185. doi: 10.3390/cancers13205185. PMID: 34680334; PMCID: PMC8533708.

  • Hu J, Guo J, Pei Y, Hu P, Li M, Sack I, Li W. Rectal Tumor Stiffness Quantified by In Vivo Tomoelastography and Collagen Content Estimated by Histopathology Predict Tumor Aggressiveness. Front Oncol. 2021 Aug 13;11:701336. doi: 10.3389/fonc.2021.701336. PMID: 34485136; PMCID: PMC8415020.

  • Zhu L, Guo J, Jin Z, Xue H, Dai M, Zhang W, Sun Z, Xu J, Marticorena Garcia SR, Asbach P, Hamm B, Sack I. Distinguishing pancreatic cancer and autoimmune pancreatitis with in vivo tomoelastography. Eur Radiol. 2021 May;31(5):3366-3374. doi: 10.1007/s00330-020-07420-5. Epub 2020 Oct 30. PMID: 33125553.

  • Grossmann M, Tzschätzsch H, Lang ST, Guo J, Bruns A, Dürr M, Hoyer BF, Grittner U, Lerchbaumer M, Nguyen Trong M, Schultz M, Hamm B, Braun J, Sack I, Marticorena Garcia SR. US Time-Harmonic Elastography for the Early Detection of Glomerulonephritis. Radiology. 2019 Sep;292(3):676-684. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2019182574. Epub 2019 Jul 9. PMID: 31287390.

  • Burkhardt C, Tzschätzsch H, Schmuck R, Bahra M, Jürgensen C, Pelzer U, Hamm B, Braun J, Sack I, Marticorena Garcia SR. Ultrasound Time-Harmonic Elastography of the Pancreas: Reference Values and Clinical Feasibility. Invest Radiol. 2020 May;55(5):270-276. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0000000000000638. PMID: 31985600.

  • Marticorena Garcia SR, Zhu L, Gültekin E, Schmuck R, Burkhardt C, Bahra M, Geisel D, Shahryari M, Braun J, Hamm B, Jin ZY, Sack I, Guo J. Tomoelastography for Measurement of Tumor Volume Related to Tissue Stiffness in Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinomas. Invest Radiol. 2020 Dec;55(12):769-774. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0000000000000704. PMID: 32796197.

  • Schaafs LA, Schrank F, Warmuth C, Steffen IG, Braun J, Hamm B, Sack I, Elgeti T. Steady-State Multifrequency Magnetic Resonance Elastography of the Thoracic and Abdominal Human Aorta-Validation and Reference Values. Invest Radiol. 2020 Jul;55(7):451-456. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0000000000000654. PMID: 32520515.

  • Shahryari M, Tzschätzsch H, Guo J, Marticorena Garcia SR, Böning G, Fehrenbach U, Stencel L, Asbach P, Hamm B, Käs JA, Braun J, Denecke T, Sack I. Tomoelastography Distinguishes Noninvasively between Benign and Malignant Liver Lesions. Cancer Res. 2019 Nov 15;79(22):5704-5710. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-19-2150. Epub 2019 Sep 24. PMID: 31551364.

  • Asbach P, Ro SR, Aldoj N, Snellings J, Reiter R, Lenk J, Köhlitz T, Haas M, Guo J, Hamm B, Braun J, Sack I. In Vivo Quantification of Water Diffusion, Stiffness, and Tissue Fluidity in Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia and Prostate Cancer. Invest Radiol. 2020 Aug;55(8):524-530. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0000000000000685. PMID: 32496317.

  • Reiter R, Loch FN, Kamphues C, Bayerl C, Marticorena Garcia SR, Siegmund B, Kühl AA, Hamm B, Braun J, Sack I, Asbach P. Feasibility of Intestinal MR Elastography in Inflammatory Bowel Disease. J Magn Reson Imaging. 2021 Jul 12. doi: 10.1002/jmri.27833. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34254389.

  • Schaafs LA, Tzschätzsch H, Reshetnik A, van der Giet M, Braun J, Hamm B, Sack I, Elgeti T. Ultrasound Time-Harmonic Elastography of the Aorta: Effect of Age and Hypertension on Aortic Stiffness. Invest Radiol. 2019 Nov;54(11):675-680. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0000000000000590. PMID: 31299035.

  • Lang ST, Guo J, Bruns A, Dürr M, Braun J, Hamm B, Sack I, Marticorena Garcia SR. Multiparametric Quantitative MRI for the Detection of IgA Nephropathy Using Tomoelastography, DWI, and BOLD Imaging. Invest Radiol. 2019 Oct;54(10):669-674. doi: 10.1097/RLI.0000000000000585. PMID: 31261295.

  • Elsholtz FHJ, Reiter R, Marticorena Garcia SR, Braun J, Sack I, Hamm B, Schaafs LA. Multifrequency magnetic resonance elastography-based tomoelastography of the parotid glands-feasibility and reference values. Dentomaxillofac Radiol. 2021 Sep 24:20210337. doi: 10.1259/dmfr.20210337. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34558305.

  • Reiter R, Shahryari M, Tzschätzsch H, Haas M, Bayerl C, Siegmund B, Hamm B, Asbach P, Braun J, Sack I. Influence of fibrosis progression on the viscous properties of in vivo liver tissue elucidated by shear wave dispersion in multifrequency MR elastography. J Mech Behav Biomed Mater. 2021 Sep;121:104645. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2021.104645. Epub 2021 Jun 18. PMID: 34166871.

  • Guo J, Bertalan G, Meierhofer D, Klein C, Schreyer S, Steiner B, Wang S, Vieira da Silva R, Infante-Duarte C, Koch S, Boehm-Sturm P, Braun J, Sack I. Brain maturation is associated with increasing tissue stiffness and decreasing tissue fluidity. Acta Biomater. 2019 Nov;99:433-442. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.08.036. Epub 2019 Aug 23. PMID: 31449927.

  • Li M, Guo J, Hu P, Jiang H, Chen J, Hu J, Asbach P, Sack I, Li W. Tomoelastography Based on Multifrequency MR Elastography for Prostate Cancer Detection: Comparison with Multiparametric MRI. Radiology. 2021 May;299(2):362-370. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2021201852. Epub 2021 Mar 9. Erratum in: Radiology. 2021 May;299(2):E259. PMID: 33687285.

  • Schrank F, Warmuth C, Görner S, Meyer T, Tzschätzsch H, Guo J, Uca YO, Elgeti T, Braun J, Sack I. Real-time MR elastography for viscoelasticity quantification in skeletal muscle during dynamic exercises. Magn Reson Med. 2020 Jul;84(1):103-114. doi: 10.1002/mrm.28095. Epub 2019 Nov 27. PMID: 31774210.

  • Bertalan G, Klein C, Schreyer S, Steiner B, Kreft B, Tzschätzsch H, de Schellenberger AA, Nieminen-Kelhä M, Braun J, Guo J, Sack I. Biomechanical properties of the hypoxic and dying brain quantified by magnetic resonance elastography. Acta Biomater. 2020 Jan 1;101:395-402. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.11.011. Epub 2019 Nov 11. PMID: 31726251.

  • Lilaj L, Fischer T, Guo J, Braun J, Sack I, Hirsch S. Separation of fluid and solid shear wave fields and quantification of coupling density by magnetic resonance poroelastography. Magn Reson Med. 2021 Mar;85(3):1655-1668. doi: 10.1002/mrm.28507. Epub 2020 Sep 9. PMID: 32902011.

  • Bertalan G, Boehm-Sturm P, Schreyer S, Morr AS, Steiner B, Tzschätzsch H, Braun J, Guo J, Sack I. The influence of body temperature on tissue stiffness, blood perfusion, and water diffusion in the mouse brain. Acta Biomater. 2019 Sep 15;96:412-420. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2019.06.034. Epub 2019 Jun 25. PMID: 31247381.