Noninvasive and nondestructive methods like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) used to visualize tissue mechanical behavior are key to understanding its material properties and function. Displacement-encoded MRI [1] has allowed for biomechanics research in the myocardium and other self-actuated tissues. However, additional imaging constraints must be considered when external loading must be applied to reproduce physiologically relevant loads and deformations in a tissue of interest. Previous studies have used displacement encoding with stimulated echoes (DENSE) with a fast spin echo (FSE) acquisition [2]. Despite a measured sub-pixel displacement resolution (65 μm [3]), DENSE-FSE is limited by long imaging times and signal-to-noise (SNR). Balanced steady state free precession acquisitions like true fast imaging with steady state precession (TrueFISP), however, provide high SNR and can be modified for DENSE acquisition [4]. Here, we evaluate DENSE with TrueFISP readout for noninvasive and rapid acquisition of deformation data in biomechanical systems that require exogenous applied loading.

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