MICROWAVE IMAGING OF BIOLOGICAL TISSUES: applied toward breast tumor detection

by Gunnarsson, Tommy

Abstract (Summary)
Microwave imaging is an efficient diagnostic modality for non-invasively visualizing dielectric contrasts of non-metallic bodies. An increasing interest of this field has been observed during the last decades. Many application areas in biomedicine have been issued, recently the breast tumor detection application using microwave imaging.Many groups are working in the field at the moment for several reasons. Breast cancer is a major health problem globally for women, while it is the second most common cancer form for women causing 0.3 % of the yearly female death in Sweden. Medical imaging is considered as the most effective way of diagnostic breast tumors, where X-ray mammography is the dominating technique. However, this imaging modality still suffers from some limitations. Many women, mostly young ones, have radiographically dense breasts, which means that the breast tissues containing high rates of fibroglandular tissues. In this case the density is very similar to the breast tumor and the diagnosis is very difficult. In this case alternative modalities like Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) with contrast enhancement and Ultrasound imaging are used, however those are not suitable for large scale screening program.Another limitation is the false-negative and false-positive rate using mammography, in general 5–15 % of the tumors are not detected and many cases have to go though a breast biopsy to verify a tumor diagnosis. At last the mammography using breast compression sometimes painful, and utilizing ionizing X-rays. The big potential in microwave imaging is the reported high contrast of complex permittivity between fibroglandular tissues and tumor tissues in breasts and that it is a non-ionizing method which probably will be rather inexpensive.The goal with this work is to develop a microwave imaging system able to reconstruct quantitative images of a female breast. In the frame of this goal this Licentiate thesis contains a brief review of the ongoing research in the field of microwave imaging of biological tissues, with the major focus on the breast tumor application. Both imaging algorithms and experimental setups are included. A feasibility study is performed to analyze what response levels could be expected, in signal properties, in a breast tumor detection application. Also, the usability of a 3D microwave propagation simulator, (QW3D), in the setup development is investigated. This is done by using a simple antenna setup with a breast phantom with different tumor positions. From those results it is clear that strong responses are obtained by a tumor presence and the diffracted responses gives strong information about inhomogeneities inside the breast. The second part of this Licentiate thesis is done in collaboration between Mälardalen University and Supélec. Using the existing planar 2.45 GHz microwave camera and the iterative non-linear Newton Kantorovich code, developed at Département de Recherches en Electromagnétisme (DRE) at Supélec, as a starting point, a new platform for both real-time qualitative imaging and quantitative images of inhomogeneous objects are investigated. The focusing is related to breast tumor detection. For the moment the tomographic performance of the planar camera is verified in simulations through a comparison with other setups. Good calibration is observed, but still experimental work concerning phantom development etc. is needed before experimental results on breast tumor detection may be obtained.
Bibliographical Information:


School:Mälardalens högskola

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Electrical engineering, electronics and photonics; Electronics; Microwave Imaging; Breast tumor detection; Inverse problems; Mammography; Elektronik


Date of Publication:01/01/2007

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.