Thesis seminar: The Improvement of Shear-wave Elastography Imaging in Prediction of Preterm Birth, 30th September, 1pm

When: Friday 30th of September, 1pm AEDT

Where: This seminar will be presented online via Zoom, RSVP here.

Speaker: Weirong Ge

Title: The Improvement of Shear-wave Elastography Imaging in Prediction of Preterm Birth

Complications from preterm birth are one of the leading causes of perinatal mortality and morbidity worldwide. The risk of preterm birth is predicted with the standard methods of assessing obstetric history, measuring cervical length, and other less common practices such as measuring fetal fibronectin concentration. Shear-wave elastography is an ultrasound-based imaging method that measures the elasticity of soft tissue as a function of shear-wave speed. The theory behind using this imaging modality for diagnosis is that the elasticity of soft tissue measures its biochemical content and structure, which could indicate the presence or progression of a disease. It is hypothesised that the mechanical characteristics of the cervical tissue could reflect the likelihood of preterm birth, but in practice, this method falls short in terms of diagnostic accuracy. In this seminar, we discuss a pilot study where we identify potential causes of error in the imaging method. We then develop image processing methods to calibrate for the causes of error related to tissue mechanics and proof-of-concept testing on a small population of patients. Finally, we discuss a tissue-mimicking material that could aid in the training of sonographers.


Weirong Ge has recently completed her PhD supervised by Professor Jon Hyett and Dr Graham Brooker in “Improving shear-wave elastography imaging in predicting preterm birth”. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biomedical engineering at the University of Sydney in 2018. Her research interest is integrating engineering research into health technologies to optimise patient outcomes.


Sydney Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Systems