Theoretical assessment of electro-thermal imaging: A new technique for medical diagnosis

Carlak H. F., GENÇER N. G., BEŞİKCİ C.

INFRARED PHYSICS & TECHNOLOGY, vol.76, pp.227-234, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 76
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.infrared.2016.03.001
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.227-234
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Breast cancer is one of the most crucial cancer types. To improve the diagnosis performance, a hybrid system is proposed through simultaneous utilization of thermal and electrical impedance imaging methods. The innovation of the approach relies on the frequency dependence of the tissue's electrical impedance which facilitates the acquisition of multiple thermal images with currents at different frequencies injected to the region of the body under inspection. The applied current and the resulting heating at the body surface are distributed based on the frequency dependent conductivity distribution. The electrical currents increase the thermal contrast on the body surface depending on the electrical properties of the tissues at the operation frequency. The technique also provides frequency dependent conductivity distribution data through thermal imaging which can be used as a basis for the detection of the breast carcinoma. Based on our findings, the contrast resolution between the healthy and cancerous tissue is increased, improving the depth-dependent imaging performance from 3 mm to 9 mm for a 1.5 mm tumor. The sensitivity of the technique can be further increased by an infrared camera with dual band imaging capability. Consequently, the proposed approach has a potential to improve the sensitivity and accuracy of medical imaging over the standard thermography. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.