Dielectric Imaging of Biological Systems using Microwave Technique

A Synopsis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of

Master of Science in Physics (Spl. In Electronics)

Submitted by

V.Guru Charan



CONTENTS 1. Introduction 2. Literature Review 3. Motivation 4. Objectives 5. Methodology 6. Proposed Outcome 7. Reference


During the past years, there has been a spectacular progress in microwave technology and its applications to both military and civilian domain [1]. In the last two decades extensive studies have contributed to cancer detection using microwave imaging, which has emerged as a promising technique for early and foolproof detection of malignant tumours. Moreover, this technique can be put to use for defence and security purpose for detecting and sensing men hidden in a building or morphologically imaging sharp metallic weapons etc. Recently, Emisens, has put microwave imaging to commercial use by manufacturing a highly accurate liquid explosive detection system whose inspection time is 1 second per bottle.

Fig1: Shows examples of Subsurface Imaging [2]

In many sensing and imaging problems, the object is covered by some medium that conceals or obscures its relevant features. The object may emit some wave, field, or stream of particles that penetrate the medium and may be observed by a detector. Alternatively, a wave, field, or stream of particles may be used as a probe that travels through the medium and is modified by the object before it travels back through the medium on its way to the detector. In imaging applications, one measures the scattered field and tries to obtain information on the object subjected to the incident radiation. The challenge is to extract various categories of useful information about the object from the image developed [2]. There are two main types of imaging configurations- passive and active. In passive imaging an external probe is not required to construct the image. Examples are a star emitting EM


radiations, a radioactive sample undergoing decay etc. Alternatively, in active imaging the image is formed by the use of an external probe and the present work is an example of the same.

Fig2: Shows passive and active imaging of the target[2]

Microwave imaging is an inverse problem, which in general, is ill-posed, i.e., its solution does not depend continuously on the data. It means that a small perturbation of the data results in a large perturbation of the solution [3]. Moreover, if two or more different objects produce the same measurement data, the problem solution is not unique. These two problems have to be overcome for complete image reconstruction.

The image reconstruction process is an ill-posed multidimensional optimization problem where the number of unknown variables (ε (x, y, z), σ(x, y, z)) is determined in the image reconstruction stage. The number of unknown variables depends mainly on the physical size, the dielectric properties, geometry of the object, and the required spatial resolution [12].

Literature Review
At present the primary application of microwave imaging is limited to detection of breast cancer [4, 5, 6 ]. Studies of microwave breast cancer detection can be divided mainly into


two main groups, namely, the radar-based imaging approach and the inverse scattering approach (eg. [5]). Radar-based imaging approach, proposed by Xu Li et al. from University of Wisconsin [9, 10], aims to identify the presence and location of strong scatterers due to the significant contrast between the tumour and the healthy breast tissue. Throughout the years, numerous studies have been conducted by different research groups and variations of the original radar based technique, such as microwave imaging via spacetime (MIST) beamforming [6] have been proposed [12]. In addition to detecting breast cancer, microwave imaging has a prominent application in accessing damage of concrete structures [7]. Current research has focussed on improving the resolution of microwave imaging systems. For improvement of resolution Mark Curry from Boeing Phantom Works and Yasuo Kuga from University of Washington have proposed use of small wideband adaptive arrays [8], whereas Gennaro Bellizzi et al. from University of Naples Federico II have exploited magnetic nanoparticles as contrast agents [13].

In a review paper on industrial microwave sensors Ebbe Nyfors from Roxar ASA, has stated numerous advantages of Microwave based sensors and systems, some of which are, no requirement of mechanical contact, non ionizing nature, non invasive, high penetration capacity, inherent stability [14]. Present research problem has been framed after looking into the advantages of using microwave radiations for imaging of biological samples although microwave based imaging can lead to undesired heating effects. Still, Microwave imaging is the most preferred techniques due to its non destructive and non contact nature which provides for in vivo measurements. Literature review reflects that not much literature is available on using microwave imaging technique to calculate the dielectric constant of constituent materials in a biological sample,


although dielectric properties have been concentrated on in a gross sense. This novel proposal if developed will facilitate easy measurement of dielectric properties of any sample.

The principal objective of imaging the dielectric constant of a biological sample can be broken down procedurally into smaller objectives as: 1. To design and fabricate a slot ring resonator 2. To calculate S parameter values for the biological sample 3. To develop a MATLAB based program for calculation of dielectric constant

The following methodology will be followed to achieve the stated objectives: 1. CST Microwave Studio will be used to design and simulate the slot ring resonator 2. Photolithography will be used to fabricate the resonator 3. Vector Network Analyzer (VNA) will be used to measure the scattering parameters of the biological sample 4. Matlab, a computing tool which is VNA compatible, will be used to develop a program to calculate the dielectric constant of the sample

Research Outcome
It is proposed that the work herein will lead to novel microwave based imaging systems which will provide an edge over the existing microwave imaging systems, as the proposed system can selectively image the sample i.e., it can calculate dielectric constant of various


constituents of the bulk sample. The proposed work also give an insight into the ecology of biological molecules i.e., their interaction with other bio molecules. Moreover, the proposed system will shed light on dielectric properties for the sample at different microwave frequencies, which is the reason why this technique is preferred over resonance technique. [11]

1. David Pozar, “ Microwave Engineering,” John Wiley & Sons, 1998 2. Bahaa Saleh, “Introduction to Subsurface Imaging,” Cambridge University Press , 2011 3. Matteo Pastorino, “Microwave Imaging,” John Wiley & Sons, 2010 4. Elise C. Fear et al., “Confocal Microwave Imaging for Breast Cancer Detection: Localization of Tumors in Three Dimensions,” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 49, No.8,August 2002 5. Jacob D. Shea et al., “ Three-dimensional microwave imaging of realistic numerical breast phantoms via a multiple-frequency inverse scattering technique,” Med. Phys. 37(8),August 2010 6. Essex J. Bond et al.,“ Microwave Imaging via Space-Time Beamforming for Early Detection of Breast Cancer,”IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation, Vol. 51, No.8, August 2003 7. Yoo Jin Kim et al.,“3D Microwave Imaging Technology Using Antenna Array For Damage Assessment Of Concrete Structure,” ASCE Engineering Mechanics Conference, 2003 8. Mark Curry, Yasuo Kuga, “ Resolution improvement techniques for microwave imaging in random media using small wideband adaptive arrays,” Advanced Signal Processing Algorithms, Architectures, and Implementations XII, Vol. 4791, 2002


9. Xu Li et al.,“Microwave Imaging via Space–Time Beamforming: Experimental Investigation of Tumor Detection in Multilayer Breast Phantoms,” IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques, Vol.52, No.8, August 2004 10. Xu Li et al., “Experimental Investigation of Microwave Imaging via Space-Time Beamforming for Breast Cancer Detection,”IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium Digest, 2003 11. Darko Kajfez, “ Q- Factor,” Encyclopaedia of RF and Microwave Engineering, Wiley-Interscience, 2005 12. Hoi-Shun Lui et al.,“On the Forward Scattering of Microwave Breast Imaging,” International Journal of Biomedical Imaging, Vol. 2012 13. Gennaro Bellizzi et al.,“Microwave Cancer Imaging exploiting Magnetic Nanoparticles as Contrast Agent,” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol. 58, No.9, Sept 2011 14. Ebbe Nyfors, “Industrial Microwave Sensors-A Review,” Subsurface Sensing Technologies and Applications, Vol 1,No 1,2000


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