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TABLE 1 Dimensions of the Proposed Antenna


ANTENNA IMAGING Substrate FR4 er 5 4.4, h 5 0.8 mm
1 1 2 L 5 25 mm, W 5 16 mm
Radouane Karli, Hassan Ammor, and Bal S. Virdee Microstrip line LMl 5 13 mm
Electronic and Communication Laboratory EMI, Mohammed V
WMl 5 1.6 mm
University in Rabat, Morocco; Corresponding author: Slots S15 1.5 3 1.5 mm2
Faculty of Life Sciences & Computing, Center for Communications S2 5 S3 5 0.5 3 6 mm2
Technology, London Metropolitan University, United Kingdom S4 5 1.6 3 4 mm2
Steps St1 5 10 3 1 mm2
St2 5 7 3 0.75 mm2
Received 4 February 2016
Patch 12 3 8 mm2
Ground Lp 5 11.5 mm
Wp 5 16 mm
ABSTRACT: This paper describes the detection of tumors in human
breast tissues using an UWB planar antenna operating at a frequency
recommended by FCC. The antenna has a measured bandwidth from tered from different locations. As the dielectric properties of
3.92 GHz to 11.32 GHz for |S11| < 10 dB. The detection technique is tumor differ from healthy breast tissue, this suggests that the
based on using the fact that the tumor’s electrical properties, in particu- reflected and the scattered signals will be different for both
lar conduction and specific absorption rate (SAR), change significantly types of tissues. The cause of this difference in electrical proper-
from those of healthy biological tissue when exposed to microwave radi-
ties in terms of relative permittivity and conductivity is attrib-
ation. The hemispherical breast model used comprised breast skin, fat
uted to the fact that normal breast tissue, although, a fatty and
and the tumor tissue. Investigation was done with the tumor located at
several positions inside the heterogeneous breast model. The patch lossy medium, is largely transparent to microwave radiation
antenna was operated in its near field by placed it in contact with the compared to lesions, containing more fluids, in terms of water
breast to enhance its sensitivity. High current density has been observed and blood, providing a higher lossy medium to microwave prop-
for various positions and sizes of the deep seated tumor while keeping agation [3].
SAR within safe limits specified by FCC of 1.6 W/Kg. A comparison The breast imaging now allows not only the detection of
technique is used to identify whether or not tumor (benign or malignant) sub-centimeter lesions, but also their characterization. The anal-
is present in the breast. The results reveal the validity of the proposed ysis of breast lesions using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
simple and effective technique. V C 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
is based primarily on morphological criteria (size, shape, con-
Microwave Opt Technol Lett 58:2101–2106, 2016; View this article
tour, internal decision-contrast enhancement), but also kinetic
online at DOI 10.1002/mop.29980
(speed, current, dynamic contrast enhancement). This non-
Key words: microwave imaging; breast cancer; UWB antenna; tumor
invasive radiological technique is based on the physical phe-
tissues nomenon of nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) [4,5]. Although
MRI is a powerful medical diagnostic technique that provides
three-dimensional images with high anatomical precision, how-
ever it is very expensive to buy and maintain especially by third
Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women partic- world developing countries.
ularly in developed countries [1]. Early detection of breast can- Over the last two decades, medical imaging applications
cer is known to be a key factor in the successful treatment of based on microwaves has been developed hugely. The emerging
the disease. Since the birth of radiological techniques several microwave imaging techniques gives better results with the
methods have been developed, including microwave imaging advantages of non-ionizing, comfortable, sensitive to tumors and
[2]. This technique involves transmitting microwave signals
specific to malignancies [6]. In addition, the development of
through the breast tissue and recording the received signals scat-
UWB microstrip patch antennas is shown to reduce cluttered
data to produce highly localized images [6–8].

Figure 1 Geometry of the proposed antenna (a) Top view, and (b)
Bottom view. [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue, which is Figure 2 The photograph of the UWB antenna. [Color figure can be
available at] viewed in the online issue, which is available at]

DOI 10.1002/mop MICROWAVE AND OPTICAL TECHNOLOGY LETTERS / Vol. 58, No. 9, September 2016 2101
Figure 3 Comparison between simulation and measurements of: (a)
S11, and (b) VSWR. [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue,
which is available at]

This paper describes a compact UWB microstrip antenna for

medical imaging. In particular, the proposed antenna is used to
detect and characterize hidden tumors of various sizes inside the
breasts. The detection is based on comparing the electrical prop-
erties of healthy and malignant breast tissues when radiated with
microwave energy. The simulation results presented here reveal
the effectiveness and sensitivity of the simple antenna structure
in the detection of tumors.


In this study a typical low-profile microstrip antenna design that
is based on rectangular radiator with a 50X feedline was chosen
because the single layer antenna structure can be accurately
modeled, and is cost effective to manufacture.

TABLE 2 Comparison Between Simulated and Measured

Reflection Coefficient
Figure 4 (a) Radiation patterns, and (b) Gain performance. [Color figure
Bandwidth for Bandwidth for Resonant
can be viewed in the online issue, which is available at wileyonlinelibrary.
S11  26 dB S11  210 dB frequency Level |S11|
Simulated 3.59–13.51 GHz 3.92–11.06 GHz 4.55 GHz 218.8 dB
8.07 GHz 234 dB
9.39 GHz 225.16 dB The rectangular patch design, in Figure 1, was designed as
Measured 3.59–11.75 GHz 3.92–11.32 GHz 5.43 GHz 221.39 dB
described in Ref. [9] with slots to increase its bandwidth. A
7.24 GHz 229.13 dB
50X feedline was used, and the antenna was excited through the
10.55 GHz 225.34 dB
SMA connector. The antenna design was implemented on FR4

2102 MICROWAVE AND OPTICAL TECHNOLOGY LETTERS / Vol. 58, No. 9, September 2016 DOI 10.1002/mop
TABLE 3 Comparison of Previous Designs With the Proposed

Bandwidth (GHz) for Antenna

Antenna S11 210 dB or VSWR<2 size (mm2) Gain (dBi)
[12] 3–10.26 34 3 36 Not reported
[14] 4–9 30 3 30 2–6
[15] 1.15–4.4 75 3 75 2–8
This work 3.92–11.32 16 3 25 2.25–4.56

Figure 6 Current density distribution in the tissue without tumor, (a)

skin, and (b) breast fat. [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue,
which is available at]

nuity in the SMA connector to the antenna feedline introduced

Figure 5 (a) Breast model with tumor, and (b) Close-up of antenna
by the solder and fabrication tolerance.
placed in contact with the breast. [Color figure can be viewed in the
online issue, which is available at]
Figure 4 shows the antenna’s radiation patterns at various
spot frequencies and gain performance. The antenna radiates
omni-directionally in the E- and H-planes, and is stable over its
epoxy substrate, and the optimized dimensions of the antenna
operating frequency range. The antenna gain varies from 2.25
are given in Table 1. Photograph of the antenna is shown in
dBi to 4.55 dBi over the operating band with an average radia-
Figure 2.
tion efficiency of 96%. This antenna structure was employed to
The simulated and measured return-loss and VSWR of the
detect tumors by microwave imaging.
optimized antenna is shown in Figure 3. The antenna has an
Table 3 presents a comparison between the performance of some
operating frequency band of 7.6 GHz for S11 better than 10 dB,
recently developed UWB antennas and the proposed antenna. The
which covers the entire UWB frequency range as specified by
proposed antenna has advantages of a wider impedance bandwidth,
FCC. Figure 3 shows across its operating frequency the VSWR
is 2:1 indicating good impedance match. compact size, and good gain performance.
Table 2 compares the simulated and measurement reflection
coefficient results. It shows the bandwidth results are compara-
ble. The difference in performance is attributed to any disconti- Several models representing breasts have been reported by
researchers [10,11]. In this study we used a simple hemispherical
model to represent the breast, as shown in Figure 5. The most
common size of the breast was used here. The dielectric proper-
TABLE 4 Dielectric Properties of the Breast Model at 6GHz ties of the breast are shown in Table 4, where r is the conductiv-
Conductivity r (S/m) Permittivity er ity of tissue and er is the dielectric permittivity [12]. The typical
size of the tumor is in the range from 0.2 cm to about 1.5 cm
Skin 1.1 39 [11–14]. In this study, we have modeled a spherical tumor with a
Breast tissues 0.59 4.49
radius of 0.3 cm and 0.5 cm in order to compare our results with
Tumor 4 50
other researchers work reported in Refs. 12,14,15.

DOI 10.1002/mop MICROWAVE AND OPTICAL TECHNOLOGY LETTERS / Vol. 58, No. 9, September 2016 2103
Figure 7 SAR distribution in tissue without tumor, (a) Skin, and (b)
Breast fat. [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue, which is
available at]

The hemispherical breast model has a radius of 5.5 cm. The

breast is composed of outer skin of 0.2 mm thickness, and inner
fatty breast tissue of 5.3 cm radius. The tumor is located inside
the breast. The proposed antenna is placed in contact with the
breast, as shown in Figure 5, to increase its sensitivity. This is
because the breast skin has electrical properties comparable to
the breast tumors and when the antenna is placed away from the
breast most of the signal is scattered from the breast skin. This
results in masking of the reflections from the tumor. The breast
was modeled with Ansys HFSS, which is a 3D electromagnetic
simulation tool.
The signal reflected by a biological tissue depends on the
density of induced currents in and over it. We can use this
information to analyze whether or not a breast has a tumor by
comparing it with a healthy breast scenario. The breast model is
exposed in the near field of the antenna, radiating a permissible
125 mW at 6 GHz. The current density and specific absorption
rate (SAR) in the skin and fatty tissue of the breast with no Figure 8 Current density distribution in tissue with 3 mm tumor, (a)
tumor are shown in Figures 6 and 7. The SAR value refers to Skin, (b) Breast fat, and (c) Tumor. [Color figure can be viewed in the
power averaged over 10 g of tissue. Figures 8 and 9, show the online issue, which is available at]
current density and SAR in the case of a breast with a tumor.
Figures 8 and 9 show higher current density on the skin and From Figure 8 it is clear that peak volume current density on
tumor with safe peak SAR values of microwave radiation on the tumor of 3 mm radius is as high as 9.94 A/m2 at position (4, 2,
breast fat and skin. The tumor was positioned at location 0.75). However, the current density is 3.65 A/m2 at position (4,
defined by co-ordination x 5 4, y 5 2, and z 5 0.75. The spheri- 4.5, 0.75), and 0.84 A/m2 at (4, 4, 4.75). SAR for tumor of 3 mm
cally modeled tumors of radii 3 mm and 5 mm were analyzed radius are 9.05 3 1023, 2.84 3 1023 and 1.64 3 1024 W/Kg,
in the model at 6 GHz. respectively, at positions (4, 2, 0.75), (4, 4.5, 0.75) and (4, 4, 4.75),

2104 MICROWAVE AND OPTICAL TECHNOLOGY LETTERS / Vol. 58, No. 9, September 2016 DOI 10.1002/mop
Figure 9 SAR distribution in the tissue with 3 mm tumor, (a) Skin, (b) Breast fat, and (c) Tumor. [Color figure can be viewed in the online issue,
which is available at]

TABLE 5 Peak Current Densities and Peak SAR Values on the Tumor of Different Radii at Different Locations at 6 GHz

Tumor Radius

0.3 cm 0.5 cm
2 2
Tumor x,y,z position in cm r (A/m ) SAR (W/Kg) r (A/m ) SAR (W/Kg)
4, 2, 0.75 9.94 9.05 3 10 9.46 7.89 3 1023
4, 4.5, 0.75 3.65 2.84 3 1023 3.23 1.23 3 1023
4, 4, 4.75 0.845 1.64 3 1024 2.84 8.47 3 1024

TABLE 6 Peak Current Density and Peak SAR Value on Skin and Breast Fat at Different Locations at 6 GHz for a Tumor Radius of
0.3 cm

Tumor radius 5 0.3 cm

Skin Breast fat

Tumor x,y,z position in cm r (A/m2) SAR (W/Kg) r (A/m2) SAR (W/Kg)

4, 2, 0.75 19.13 5.71 3 10 1.15 4.8 3 1023
4, 4.5, 0.75 19.55 5.84 3 1022 1.15 4.81 3 1023
4, 4, 4.75 19.82 5.60 3 1022 1.19 4.9 3 1023

which is quite small and within safe limit defined by FCC of 1.6 the position of the tumor inside the breast has an effect on its
W/Kg). detection. In particular, the further the antenna is from the tumor
The peak current densities and peak SAR values on the the lower the detection, which justifies the need for the use of
tumor of radii 0.3 mm and 0.5 mm at various positions is given an array antenna.
in Table 5. The antenna is placed in contact with the breast skin Tables 6 and 7 show the values of peak volume current den-
as explained above to increase its sensitivity. The table shows sity, r, and peak SAR value on skin and breast fatty tissue for

TABLE 7 Peak Current Density and Peak SAR Value on Skin and Breast fat at Different Locations at 6 GHz for a Tumor Radius of
0.5 cm

Tumor radius 5 0.5 cm

Skin Breast fat

2 2
Tumor x,y,z position in cm r (A/m ) SAR (W/Kg) r (A/m ) SAR (W/Kg)
4, 2, 0.75 21.12 6.37 3 10 1.21 5.27 3 1023
4, 4.5, 0.75 20.69 5.37 3 1022 1.24 5.38 3 1023
4, 4, 4.75 20.65 6.76 3 1022 1.213 5.57 3 1023

DOI 10.1002/mop MICROWAVE AND OPTICAL TECHNOLOGY LETTERS / Vol. 58, No. 9, September 2016 2105
TABLE 8 Peak Current Density and Peak SAR Value of Breast No Tumor Case at 6 GHz

No Tumor

Skin Breast fat

2 2
Tumor x,y,z position in cm r (A/m ) SAR (W/Kg) r (A/m ) SAR (W/Kg)
4, 2, 0.75 11.67 2.36 3 10 0.729 1.94 3 1023
4, 4.5, 0.75 9.96 1.67 3 1022 0.734 1.6 3 1023
4, 4, 4.75 9.96 1.67 3 1022 0.733 1.6 3 1023

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2106 MICROWAVE AND OPTICAL TECHNOLOGY LETTERS / Vol. 58, No. 9, September 2016 DOI 10.1002/mop