A Multi-modal Imaging System for Early Breast Cancer Detection Aimed at Minimizing the Risk of False-positives

Research Category: Engineering and Technology
Presenter: Ashkan Ghanbarzadeh Dagheyan
PI: Jose Angle Martinez Lorenzo

Considering the risk of false-positive results in mammograms, making efforts towards the development of additional imaging modalities is integral. Microwave Near-field Radar Imaging (NRI) has the potential to increase the radiological contrast between cancerous and healthy tissues in breast, and thus can be considered as an effective complementary device to X-ray mammography. Also, Automated Breast Ultrasound Imaging can be beneficial for patients who are at higher risks of breast cancer. We have developed an NRI mechatronic system that is compatible with Digital Breast Tomosynthesis, a 3D X-ray machine at Massachusetts General Hospital and is capable of scanning objects in a planar motion. This NRI unit is equipped with a pair of miniature Antipodal Vivaldi Antennas (AVAs) that operate in a coupling liquid and were designed and fabricated in the SICA lab. Moreover, we have planned to add an ultrasound probe to our system, striving for a more complete layout that could minimize the risk of obtaining false-positives different modalities. Here we present the first imaging results of our system on a relatively simple configuration which was composed of a small bearing ball immersed in sunflower oil, mimicking human’s fatty tissues. Furthermore, to demonstrate the safety of our system for human use, we calculated the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) in a realistic breast model and compared the resulted values with USA standards. The results show that (1) the system is well-capable of detecting an object in a uniform background, and (2) the antennas radiations meet the SAR criteria.