Antenna and measurement system for microwave imaging of breast tumors

Abbak, Mehmet
Süreli Yayın başlığı
Süreli Yayın ISSN
Cilt Başlığı
Institute of Informatics
With the increasing demand for better medical imaging technologies, different medical screening procedures become a research topic for scientific community. One of the important challenges in today's medical imaging is surely the early detection of breast cancer. The breast cancer is one of the very dangerous health threat for women. This disastrous illness is observed approximately one in eight women by the age of ninety years old. The likelihood of successful treatment increases with early detection of breast cancer increases. Up to now, X-ray tomography is the golden standard for characterizing and detecting the breast cancer. In contrast to this fact, X-ray mammography has significant disadvantages. These disadvantages trigger a search for different imaging modalities, which can be integrated with currently available imaging technologies. Microwave imaging is one of those newly emerging solutions. The use microwaves in the early detection of breast cancer is motivated by several reasons. First of all, it is shown that the electrical properties of the malignant and normal tissues are substantially different, which can be easily revealed by microwave imaging. Moreover, microwaves can easily penetrate into breast tissue at a few GHz ranges. Considering that the dimensions of the breast is comparable with the wavelength at those frequencies, the malignancies can be detected from the scattered field by means of nonlinear inverse scattering algorithms. Nowadays, there are many different studies to design microwave imaging systems for the early detection of the breast cancer. An inevitable part of these systems is the nonlinear imaging methods. With the recent developments in computer technology and the newly introduced efficient algorithms, these methods are now employed in any microwave imaging system. However, the quality of reconstructed images produced by these methods is closely connected with the scattered field data that is acquired by the microwave antennas. Hence, one of the most important parts of the microwave imaging systems is the transceiving antennas. It is shown that, regardless of the method in the hand, the resolution of the produced images increases with the increasing signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and with the increasing sampling density of the field. To increase SNR, the designed antenna must have higher gain levels together with a lower back-to front ratio level; whereas the sampling density of the field increases when the dimensions of the antenna gets smaller. Furthermore, the microwave imaging methods require certain preprocessing steps, which accept only a single polarization of the incident field as input. Thus, the designed antennas must be highly linearly polarized. Finally, the microwave imaging of the malignancies is a highly ill-posed inverse problem. Thus, the frequency diversity in the scattered field data must be as high as possible. Consequently, today's microwave breast cancer imaging systems require high gain, linearly polarized, wide-band and compact antennas as their scattered field sensors. In this context, the first contribution of this thesis is the design of a cavity-backed Vivaldi antenna (CBVA) for microwave breast measurements. The design criteria for the antenna is shaped by the requirements of the free-space measurement scenario where the receiving and the transmitting antennas are rotated by a mechanical scanner. Later, various breast phantom measurements is conducted with the CBVA to reveal its feasibility for microwave tomography. As the second contribution, a novel Corrugated Vivaldi antenna (CVA) is proposed. The main idea is opening corrugations on the edge of the antenna to decrease the induced currents, which can degrade the performance. Doing so a design with better properties such as higher gain, smaller beam width, lower back-to-front ratio is obtained. The characteristics of the obtained CVA is measured in a detailed manner. Furthermore, the imaging performance of the introduced design is compared with a generic Vivaldi antenna (VA) of the same size. For this purpose, several experimental configurations are prepared in an anechoic environment and scattering parameter (S-parameter) measurements are obtained for those setups by means of the both antennas. Acquired S-parameters are then employed in a recently proposed qualitative imaging method, the S-parameter based Linear Sampling Method (S-LSM), which is a more suitable form of Linear Sampling Method (LSM) for real world applications. Experimental results show that the proposed design performs better than VA in such real world microwave imaging problems.
Thesis (Ph.D.) -- İstanbul Technical University, Institute of Informatics, 2015
Anahtar kelimeler
breast canser, göğüs kanseri, imaging technologies, görüntüleme teknolojileri, microwave, microdalga