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9 March 2010 Microwave imaging of the breast with incorporated structural information
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Microwave imaging for biomedical applications, especially for early detection of breast cancer and effective treatment monitoring, has attracted increasing interest in last several decades. This fact is due to the high contrast between the dielectric properties of the normal and malignant breast tissues at microwave frequencies ranging from high megahertz to low gigahertz. The available range of dielectric properties for different soft tissue can provide considerable functional information about tissue health. Nonetheless, one of the limiting weaknesses of microwave imaging is, unlike that for conventional modalities such as X-ray CT or MRI, it cannot inherently provide high-resolution images. The conventional modalities can produce highly resolved anatomical information but often cannot provide the functional information required for diagnoses. We have developed a soft prior regularization strategy that can incorporate the prior anatomical information from X-ray CT, MR or other sources, and use it in a way to exploit the resolution of these images while also retaining the functional nature of the microwave images. The anatomical information is first used to create an imaging zone mesh, which segments separate internal substructures, and an associated weighting matrix that numerically groups the values of closely related nodes within the mesh. This information is subsequently used as a regularizing term for the Gauss-Newton reconstruction algorithm. This approach exploits existing technology in a systematic way without making potentially biased assumptions about the properties of visible structures. In this paper we continue our initial investigation on this matter with a series of breast-shaped simulation and phantom experiments.
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Amir H. Golnabi, Paul M. Meaney, Shireen D. Geimer, and Keith D. Paulsen "Microwave imaging of the breast with incorporated structural information", Proc. SPIE 7626, Medical Imaging 2010: Biomedical Applications in Molecular, Structural, and Functional Imaging, 76260P (9 March 2010);

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