Breast cancer imaging by microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography

Minghua Xu, Geng Ku, Xing Jin, Lihong V. Wang, Bruno D. Fornage, Kelly K. Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We report a preliminary study of breast cancer imaging by microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography. In this study, we built a prototype of breast cancer imager based on a circular scan mode. A 3-GHz 0.3∼0.5-μs microwave is used as the excitation energy source. A 2.25-MHz ultrasound transducer scans the thermoacoustic signals. All the measured data is transferred to a personal computer for imaging based on our proposed back-projection reconstruction algorithms. We quantified the line spread function of the imaging system. It shows the spatial resolution of our experimental system reaches 0.5 mm. After phantom experiments demonstrated the principle of this technique, we moved the imaging system to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center to image the excised breast cancer specimens. After the surgery performed by the physicians at the Cancer Center, the excised breast specimen was placed in a plastic cylindrical container with a diameter of 10 cm; and it was then imaged by three imaging modalities: radiograph, ultrasound and thermoacoustic imaging. Four excised breast specimens have been tested. The tumor regions have been clearly located. This preliminary study demonstrated the potential of microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography for applications in breast cancer imaging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number06
Pages (from-to)45-48
Number of pages4
JournalProgress in Biomedical Optics and Imaging - Proceedings of SPIE
StatePublished - 2005
EventSixth Conference on Biomedical Thermosacoustics, Optoacoustics, and Acousto-Optics - Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2005 - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2005Jan 25 2005


  • Breast cancer
  • Imaging
  • Microwave
  • Thermoacoustic tomography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Biomaterials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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