University of Sussex
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Detection of breast cancer with electrical impedance mammography

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posted on 2023-06-08, 11:43 authored by Gerald Sze
Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT) is a medical imaging technique that reconstructs internal electrical conductivity distribution of a body from impedance data that is measured on the body surface, and Electrical Impedance Mammography (EIM) is the technique that applies EIT in breast cancer detection. The use of EIM for breast cancer identification is highly desirable because it is a non-invasive and low-cost imaging technology. EIM has the potential in detecting early stage cancer, however there are still challenges that hindering EIM to be provided as a routine health care system. There are three major groups of obstacles. One is the hardware design, which includes the selection of electronic components, electrode-skin contacting methods, etc. Second is theoretical problems such as electrode configurations, image reconstruction and regularization methods. Third is the development of analysis methods and generation of a cancerous tissue database. Research reported in this thesis strives to understand these problems and aims to provide possible solutions to build a clinical EIM system. The studies are carried out in four parts. First the functionalities of the Sussex Mk4 EIM system have been studied. Sensitivity of the system was investigated to find out the strength and weakness of the system. Then work has been made on image reconstruction and regularization methods in order to enhance the system’s endurance to noise, also to balance the reconstruction conductivity distribution throughout the reconstructed object. Then a novel cancer diagnosis technique was proposed. It was developed based on the electrical property of human breast tissue and the behaviour or systematic noise, to provide repeatable results for each patient. Finally evaluation has been made on previous EIM systems to find out the major problems. Based on sensitivity analysis, an optimal combined electrode configuration has been proposed to improve sensitivity. The system has been developed and produced meaningful clinical images. The work makes significant contributions to society. This novel cancer diagnosis method has high accuracy for cancer identification. The combined electrode configuration has also provided flexibilities in the designing of current driving and voltage receiving patterns, thus sensitivity of the EIM system can be greatly improved.


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  • Engineering and Design Theses

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  • doctoral

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  • dphil


  • eng


University of Sussex

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