Evaluation of contrast enhancement by carbon nanotubes for microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography.
Microwave-induced thermoacoustic tomography (MITAT) is a hybrid method which constructs images with ultrasound spatial resolution while exploiting dielectric contrast at microwave frequency. It has great potential in biomedical imaging especially in early breast cancer detection. The detection of early stage breast tumor in MITAT is challenged by the moderate endogenous dielectric contrast between malignant and healthy glandular tissues. In order to overcome this limitation, the performance of using carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as an imaging contrast enhancement agent is evaluated. First, the influences in dielectric and acoustic properties caused by CNTs are measured. Second, based on the measurements and the published data, numerical breast phantom is created and then used to explore the contrast enhancing effect of CNTs for MITAT, by an integrated simulation approach in both electromagnetic and acoustic field. With an experimental MITAT system, the thermoacoustic responses of tissue mimicking materials with different CNTs concentrations are also quantitatively investigated. Finally, the effectiveness of the contrast agent is also validated experimentally by using a MITAT system. The results show that the using of the dielectric contrast agent can effectively enhance the contrast of the MITAT image.
Song, J; Zhao, Z; Wang, J; Zhu, X; Wu, J; Nie, Z; Liu, Q-H
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