Olivier Pedreira wins the Best Student Award at IEEE IUS 2021

Olivier Pedreira wins the Best Student Award at IEEE IUS 2021

Our PhD student Olivier Pedreira has received the Best Student Paper Award of the category “Medical Ultrasonics” at the IEEE International Ultrasonic Symposium, which was held virtually in September 2021. His work consists in developing a new ultrasonic device to diagnose heart failure by measuring the myocardial stiffness quantitatively and in real-time.

The myocardium is the main part of the heart muscle. It consists of muscular fibers arranged in a specific organization, allowing the heart to contract and pump blood across the body. Assessing quantitatively the myocardial stiffness is essential to evaluate the heart functions. Yet, it remains a technical challenge as the fibers arrangement confer a high elastic anisotropy to the myocardium, i.e. its biomechanical properties must be described along mutiple directions relatively to the fibers orientation.

The solution proposed by our lab is a smart ultrasound device capable of quantifying the local shear wave speed – a physical parameters directly linked to the stiffness – along multiple directions, and providing a score of fractional anisotropy. It relies on a technique called shear wave elastography, where ultrasound are used both as a remote mechanical actuator (to generate tiny shear waves in the myocardium) and as a sensor (to detect the shear waves and track their speed).

Over the past few years, and under the supervision of Mathieu Pernot et Clément Papadacci, engineers of our lab have developed a fully operational prototype. As part of his PhD work, Olivier Pedreira has validated the device and methods ex vivo using samples of calibrated stiffness, and then demonstrated the in vivo feasibility on healthy volunteers.

A clinical investigation is ongoing, involving cardiologists of five hospitals, to test the device on patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. The quantification of the myocardial stiffness and elastic anisotropy during the cardiac cycle could provide a clinical score to help the diagnosis of this particular type of heart failure.


  • Pedreira O, Correia M, Chatelin S, Villemain O, Goudot G, Thiebaut S, Bassan G, Messas E, Tanter M, Papadacci C, Pernot M. Non-invasive real-time quantification of myocardial anisotropic elastic properties in the human heart. Presentation at IEEE IUS 2021, Best Student Paper Award in the category Medical Ultrasonics.
  • Pedreira O, Correia M, Chatelin S, Villemain O, Goudot G, Thiebaut S, et al. Smart ultrasound device for non-invasive real-time myocardial stiffness quantification of the human heart. IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering 2021:1–1. https://doi.org/10.1109/TBME.2021.3087039.