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July 2015

Improving liver disease diagnostics with elastography ultrasound

Samuel’s project focuses on ultrasound detection of fatty liver disease (FLD). The disease can present as a result of factors such as obesity, diabetes, or alcohol consumption. Although patients with FLD don’t usually have symptoms, the disease can be fatal, making timely diagnosis critical.

Samuel Hybois began his undergraduate career interested in all areas of engineering; however, a class project piqued his interest in biomedical engineering. His home program at École des Mines de Nancy (Université de Lorraine) in France requires each student to complete an internship, and the university had forwarded information about the Globalink Research Internship. Several projects in biomedical engineering appealed to Samuel, and he was eventually matched with a Université de Montréal radiology project, where he worked in the Laboratory of Biorheology and Medical Ultrasonics.

Samuel’s project focuses on ultrasound detection of fatty liver disease (FLD). The disease can present as a result of factors such as obesity, diabetes, or alcohol consumption. Although patients with FLD don’t usually have symptoms, the disease can be fatal, making timely diagnosis critical. “Fat in the liver creates specific fibres, which change the organ’s elasticity,” Samuel says. “The change in elasticity may be measured by ultrasound elastography.”

In his project, Samuel and his supervisor are working on a new elastography technique that will measure both the elasticity and viscosity of the liver. The dual measurements will make accurate FLD diagnoses easier for clinicians and less invasive for patients.

In the short term, Samuel plans to continue his biomedical engineering studies. He’s been accepted to a master’s program and is thinking about pursuing a PhD at home or abroad. “I hadn’t previously thought about studying in Canada, but my experiences here and support from the Globalink Graduate Fellowship have me considering it. Canadian universities have good funding and research opportunities.”

For now, he’s enjoying his time in Montreal as a Globalink Research Intern. “I’d never been to North America before, and it has been great. Between the activities offered to us and the active Globalink Facebook group, I am meeting people from around the world.”


Mitacs thanks the Government of Canada and the Government of Quebec for their support of the Globalink research internship in this story. Across Canada, the Globalink program also receives support from Alberta Innovates, the Government of British Columbia, the Government of New Brunswick, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Government of Nova Scotia, the Government of Ontario, the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Government of Saskatchewan, and Research Manitoba.

Mitacs is pleased to work with international partners to support Globalink, including Brazil’s le Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior, the China Scholarship Council, Campus France, India’s Ministry of Human Resource Development, Mexico’s Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education and the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Education.


Do you have a business challenge that could benefit from a research solution? If so, contact Mitacs today to discuss partnership opportunities: BD@mitacs.ca