Early diagnosis through imaging technologies

Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) is a noninvasive clinical diagnostic tool to uniquely assess tissue fibrosis of the liver. MRE is superior to many invasive techniques (i.e., biopsies, mechanical testing) because it can be performed in-vivo under physiologic conditions.

MRE has the ability to make tissue-stiffness measurements widely available and could revolutionize the diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of numerous diseases altering the stiffness of soft tissues. For example:

  • Liver (hepatic fibrosis, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, benign or malignant tumors)
  • Pancreas (cancer)
  • Heart (diastolic dysfunction, myocardial infarction, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy)
  • Aorta (aneurysm, hypertension)
  • Lungs (interstitial lung disease, COPD)
  • Brain (multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease)
  • Prostate (cancer)
  • Breast (cancer)

Currently, the required tools (i.e., pulse sequences, MRE drivers, inversions) are being developed in this lab for the aforementioned applications in different organs. This lab is supported by grants from the NIH, AHA and other professional societies.

Heart Research

Conventional MRI provides ejection fraction which is currently an important marker for diagnosing many diseases. However, it may not provide a complete picture of cardiac mechanics. Therefore, non-invasive estimate of myocardial stiffness might provide important information regarding mechanical function of the heart. Cardiac MRE has a potential to diagnose a variety of cardiac disease states such as heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFPEF), hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), load independent contractility and myocardial infarction (MI), where stiffness can be an important marker. An example of cardiac MRE performed in a HCM patient is shown below.

Myocardial MRE: Normal (Loop)

Heart waveHeart left

Dynamic Stiffness map (kPa)

Aorta Research

Hypertension, atherosclerosis, Marfan syndrome and aortic aneurysms are few examples where aortic stiffness is thought to increase and can eventually lead to mortality if not treated early. Aortic MRE can be used diagnose these diseases. An example of aortic MRE in an abdominal aortic aneurysm patient is shown below.

Aortic MRE (Normal Volunteer)

Magnitude     Wave image     Stiffness map      
Normal magnitude     Normal wave     Normal stiffness     Aorta scale

Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm

Magnitude     Wave image     Stiffness map    
Abdominal magnitude     Abdominal wave     Abdominal stiffness2     Aorta scale

Liver Research

Liver fibrosis causes increase in stiffness and is routinely monitored through repeated biopsies. Therefore, liver MRE is used as a clinical diagnostic tool to stage liver fibrosis. Liver MRE can also be used to diagnose liver tumors and other diseases. An example of liver MRE in a liver fibrosis patient is shown below.

Liver MRE

Stage two fibrosis patient

       Wave image
       Stiffness map


Brain Research

Stiffness of the brain is altered in many diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s and tumors. However, due to regional and directional dependency of brain stiffness, estimating anisotropic stiffness is important. Isotropic and anisotropic stiffness in a volunteer is shown below.

Wave image
       Isotropic stiffness (kPa)
       Anisotropic stiffness (kPa)

Other Research



       Main pulmonary artery
Stiff60hz        Kidney-stiff        Lung-stiff        Pulm-Artery-stiff


Program Director

Our leaders


Arunark Kolipaka, PhD

Lab Director, Magnetic Resonance Elastography

Technical Director, Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Associate Professor, Department of Radiology
Biomedical Engineering and ECE
Member of Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute

View my bio



Collaborators at The Ohio State University:

External Collaborators:
  • Richard Ehman, MD (Mayo Clinic)
  • Anthony Romano, PhD (Acoustics Division, Naval Research Laboratory)
  • Alistair Young, PhD (University of Auckland)
  • Brett Cowan, MBChB (University of Auckland)
  • Martyn Nash, PhD (University of Auckland)
  • Duncan Russell, BVSC (Oregon State University)

Current Students

  • Faisal Fakhouri, MS (PhD candidate)
  • Huiming Dong, MS (PhD candidate)
  • Deep Gandhi, BS
  • Daniel Canfield
  • Vella Liu
  • Wynton Overcast

Past Students and Fellows

  • Kovid Bhatnagar, MS: Electronic engineer at WPAFB, Ohio
  • Priyanka Illapani, MS: Business analyst at Adin Technologies Inc, Minnesota
  • Dr. Ria Mazumder, PhD: Visiting assistant professor at Widener University, Pennsylvania
  • Samuel Schroeder, BS: Process engineer at ThermaTru, Indiana
  • William Kenyhercz: MPH student at University of Florida
  • Chethan Eleswarpu: MPH student at University of Cincinnati
  • Wael Marashdeh, MD: A neuroradiology consultant
  • Juliana Serafim da Silveira, MD: Currently pursuing PhD at The Ohio State University
  • Sangmin Cha, BS, PhD: Biomedical engineer at PCTEST Engineering Laboratory, Maryland
  • Shantanu Warhadpande, MD: Currently an MD at The Ohio State University