Ultrashort Microwave-Pumped Real-Time Thermoacoustic Breast Tumor Imaging System.

Author: Ye F, Ji Z, Ding W, Lou C, Yang S, Xing D.
Conference/Journal: IEEE Trans Med Imaging.
Date published: 2015 Nov 4
Other: Word Count: 186

We report the design of a real-time thermoacoustic (TA) scanner dedicated to imaging deep breast tumors and investigate its imaging performance. The TA imaging system is composed of an ultrashort microwave pulse generator and a ring transducer array with 384 elements. By vertically scanning the transducer array that encircles the breast phantom, we achieve real-time, 3D thermoacoustic imaging (TAI) with an imaging speed of 16.7 frames per second. The stability of the microwave energy and its distribution in the cling-skin acoustic coupling cup are measured. The results indicate that there is a nearly uniform electromagnetic field in each XY-imaging plane. Three plastic tubes filled with salt water are imaged dynamically to evaluate the real-time performance of our system, followed by 3D imaging of an excised breast tumor embedded in a breast phantom. Finally, to demonstrate the potential for clinical applications, the excised breast of a ewe embedded with an ex vivo human breast tumor is imaged clearly with a contrast of about 1:2.8. The high imaging speed, large field of view, and 3D imaging performance of our dedicated TAI system provide the potential for clinical routine breast screening.
PMID: 26552081