[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Computational electromagnetics models of microwave interactions with the human breast serve as an invaluable tool for exploring the feasibility of new technologies and improving design concepts related to microwave breast cancer detection and treatment. In this paper, we report the development of a collection of anatomically realistic 3-D numerical breast phantoms of varying shape, size, and radiographic density which can readily be used in finite-difference time-domain computational electromagnetics models. The phantoms are derived from T1-weighted MRIs of prone patients. Each MRI is transformed into a uniform grid of dielectric properties using several steps. First, the structure of each phantom is identified by applying image processing techniques to the MRI. Next, the voxel intensities of the MRI are converted to frequency-dependent and tissue-dependent dielectric properties of normal breast tissues via a piecewise-linear map. The dielectric properties of normal breast tissue are taken from the recently completed large-scale experimental study of normal breast tissue dielectric properties conducted by the Universities of Wisconsin and Calgary. The comprehensive collection of numerical phantoms is made available to the scientific community through an online repository.
Preview · Article · Jan 2009 · IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Techniques utilizing electromagnetic energy at microwave and optical frequencies have been shown to be promising for breast cancer detection and diagnosis. Since different biophysical mechanisms are exploited at these frequencies to discriminate between healthy and diseased tissue, combining these two modalities may result in a more powerful approach for breast cancer detection and diagnosis. Toward this end, we performed microwave dielectric spectroscopy and optical diffuse reflectance spectroscopy measurements at the same sites on freshly excised normal breast tissues obtained from reduction surgeries at the University of Wisconsin Hospital, using microwave and optical probes with very similar sensing volumes. We found that the microwave dielectric constant and effective conductivity are correlated with tissue composition across the entire measurement frequency range (|r| approximately 0.5-0.6, p<0.01) and that the optical absorption coefficient at 460 nm and optical scattering coefficient are correlated with tissue composition (|r| approximately 0.4-0.6, p<0.02). Finally, we found that the optical absorption coefficient at 460 nm is correlated with the microwave dielectric constant and effective conductivity (r=-0.55, p<0.01). Our results suggest that combining optical and microwave modalities for analyzing breast tissue samples may serve as a crosscheck and provide complementary information about tissue composition.
Preview · Article · Oct 2008 · IEEE transactions on bio-medical engineering
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The finite difference time domain (FDTD) method is widely used as a computational tool for development, validation, and optimization of emerging microwave breast cancer detection and treatment techniques. When expressed in terms of Debye parameters, dispersive breast tissue dielectric properties can be efficiently incorporated into FDTD codes. Previously, we experimentally characterized the dielectric properties of a large number of excised normal and malignant breast tissue samples from 0.5 to 20 GHz. We subdivided the large database of normal tissue data into three groups based on the percent adipose tissue present in a particular sample. In addition, we formed a group of all cancer samples that contained at least 30% malignant tissue. We summarized the data using one-pole Cole-Cole models that were rigorously fit to the median dielectric properties of the three normal tissue groups and one malignant tissue group. In this letter, we present computationally simpler one- and two-pole Debye models that retain the high accuracy of the Cole-Cole models. Model parameters are derived for two sets of frequency ranges: the entire measurement frequency range from 0.5 to 20 GHz, and the 3.1-10.6 GHz FCC band allocated for ultrawideband medical applications. The proposed Debye models provide a means for creating computationally efficient FDTD breast models with realistic wideband dielectric properties derived from the largest and most comprehensive experimental study conducted to date on human breast tissue.
Preview · Article · Jan 2008 · IEEE Microwave and Wireless Components Letters
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The physical basis for microwave breast cancer detection is the dielectric-properties contrast between malignant and normal breast tissue. The Wisconsin-Calgary study showed that this contrast is as high as 10:1 in fatty breast tissue but no more than 10% in fibroglandular tissue. We are investigating the feasibility of air-filled microbubbles as contrast agents for enhancing the malignant-to-normal dielectric contrast. Our initial numerical studies suggest that the presence of moderate volume fractions of microbubbles reduces the effective dielectric properties of the tumor by as much as 30%, potentially improving detection efficacy via differential imaging.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of microwave breast cancer detection and treatment techniques has been driven by reports of substantial contrast in the dielectric properties of malignant and normal breast tissues. However, definitive knowledge of the dielectric properties of normal and diseased breast tissues at microwave frequencies has been limited by gaps and discrepancies across previously published studies. To address these issues, we conducted a large-scale study to experimentally determine the ultrawideband microwave dielectric properties of a variety of normal, malignant and benign breast tissues, measured from 0.5 to 20 GHz using a precision open-ended coaxial probe. Previously, we reported the dielectric properties of normal breast tissue samples obtained from reduction surgeries. Here, we report the dielectric properties of normal (adipose, glandular and fibroconnective), malignant (invasive and non-invasive ductal and lobular carcinomas) and benign (fibroadenomas and cysts) breast tissue samples obtained from cancer surgeries. We fit a one-pole Cole–Cole model to the complex permittivity data set of each characterized sample. Our analyses show that the contrast in the microwave-frequency dielectric properties between malignant and normal adipose-dominated tissues in the breast is considerable, as large as 10:1, while the contrast in the microwave-frequency dielectric properties between malignant and normal glandular/fibroconnective tissues in the breast is no more than about 10%.
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Full-text · Article · Nov 2007 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hepatic malignancies have historically been treated with surgical resection. Due to the shortcomings of this technique, there is interest in other, less invasive, treatment modalities, such as microwave hepatic ablation. Crucial to the development of this technique is the accurate knowledge of the dielectric properties of human liver tissue at microwave frequencies. To this end, we characterized the dielectric properties of in vivo and ex vivo normal, malignant and cirrhotic human liver tissues from 0.5 to 20 GHz. Analysis of our data at 915 MHz and 2.45 GHz indicates that the dielectric properties of ex vivo malignant liver tissue are 19 to 30% higher than normal tissue. The differences in the dielectric properties of in vivo malignant and normal liver tissue are not statistically significant (with the exception of effective conductivity at 915 MHz, where malignant tissue properties are 16% higher than normal). Also, the dielectric properties of in vivo normal liver tissue at 915 MHz and 2.45 GHz are 16 to 43% higher than ex vivo. No statistically significant differences were found between the dielectric properties of in vivo and ex vivo malignant tissue (with the exception of effective conductivity at 915 MHz, where malignant tissue properties are 28% higher than normal). We report the one-pole Cole-Cole parameters for ex vivo normal, malignant and cirrhotic liver tissue in this frequency range. We observe that wideband dielectric properties of in vivo liver tissue are different from the wideband dielectric properties of ex vivo liver tissue, and that the in vivo data cannot be represented in terms of a Cole-Cole model. Further work is needed to uncover the mechanisms responsible for the observed wideband trends in the in vivo liver data.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2007 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The clinical efficacy of emerging microwave breast cancer detection and hyperthermia treatment techniques (see [X. Li et al., 2005], [M. Converse et al., 2004] and references therein) depend on the microwave dielectric properties of normal, malignant, and benign breast tissues. Knowledge of these properties has been limited by gaps and discrepancies in previously published small-scale studies reporting the dielectric properties of normal and malignant breast tissues obtained from cancer surgeries [L. Sha et al., 2002]. To address these limitations, we have conducted a large-scale joint study at the Universities of Wisconsin and Calgary to experimentally characterize the wideband dielectric properties at microwave frequencies (from 0.5 to 20 GHz) of freshly excised normal, benign, and malignant breast tissues obtained from breast reduction as well as cancer surgeries. In our presentation, we will highlight the conclusions from all aspects of our completed study. Due to space limitations in this conference paper summary, here we focus on the results of a comparison of the dielectric properties of normal breast tissues obtained from both reduction and cancer surgeries.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The efficacy of emerging microwave breast cancer detection and treatment techniques will depend, in part, on the dielectric properties of normal breast tissue. However, knowledge of these properties at microwave frequencies has been limited due to gaps and discrepancies in previously reported small-scale studies. To address these issues, we experimentally characterized the wideband microwave-frequency dielectric properties of a large number of normal breast tissue samples obtained from breast reduction surgeries at the University of Wisconsin and University of Calgary hospitals. The dielectric spectroscopy measurements were conducted from 0.5 to 20 GHz using a precision open-ended coaxial probe. The tissue composition within the probe's sensing region was quantified in terms of percentages of adipose, fibroconnective and glandular tissues. We fit a one-pole Cole-Cole model to the complex permittivity data set obtained for each sample and determined median Cole-Cole parameters for three groups of normal breast tissues, categorized by adipose tissue content (0-30%, 31-84% and 85-100%). Our analysis of the dielectric properties data for 354 tissue samples reveals that there is a large variation in the dielectric properties of normal breast tissue due to substantial tissue heterogeneity. We observed no statistically significant difference between the within-patient and between-patient variability in the dielectric properties.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2007 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The development of ultrawideband (UWB) microwave diagnostic and therapeutic technologies, such as UWB microwave breast cancer detection and hyperthermia treatment, is facilitated by accurate knowledge of the temperature- and frequency-dependent dielectric properties of biological tissues. To this end, we characterize the temperature-dependent dielectric properties of a representative tissue type-animal liver-from 0.5 to 20 GHz. Since discrete-frequency linear temperature coefficients are impractical and inappropriate for applications spanning wide frequency and temperature ranges, we propose a novel and compact data representation technique. A single-pole Cole-Cole model is used to fit the dielectric properties data as a function of frequency, and a second-order polynomial is used to fit the Cole-Cole parameters as a function of temperature. This approach permits rapid estimation of tissue dielectric properties at any temperature and frequency.
Preview · Article · May 2006 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We propose and characterize oil-in-gelatin dispersions that approximate the dispersive dielectric properties of a variety of human soft tissues over the microwave frequency range from 500 MHz to 20 GHz. Different tissues are mimicked by selection of an appropriate concentration of oil. The materials possess long-term stability and can be employed in heterogeneous configurations without change in geometry or dielectric properties due to osmotic effects. Thus, these materials can be used to construct heterogeneous phantoms, including anthropomorphic types, for narrowband and ultrawideband microwave technologies, such as breast cancer detection and imaging systems.
Preview · Article · Oct 2005 · Physics in Medicine and Biology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hermetic stainless-steel open-ended coaxial probes have been designed for precision dielectric spectroscopy of biological tissue, such as breast tissue, over the 0.5-20-GHz frequency range. Robust data-processing techniques have also been developed for extracting the unknown permittivity of the tissue under test from the reflection coefficient measured with the precision probe and a vector network analyzer. The first technique, referred to as a reflection-coefficient deembedding method, converts the reflection coefficient measured at the probe's calibration plane to the desired aperture-plane reflection coefficient. The second technique uses a rational function model to solve the inverse problem, i.e., to convert the aperture-plane reflection coefficient to the tissue permittivity. The results of the characterization and validation studies demonstrate that these precision probes, used with the prescribed measurement protocols and data-processing techniques, provide highly accurate and reliable in vivo and ex vivo biological tissue measurements, including breast tissue spectroscopy.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2005 · IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
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