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Biotechnology - Physics - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Magnetoacoustic Imaging of Electrical Conductivity of Biological Tissues at a Spatial Resolution Better than 2 mm
Published: Friday, August 12, 2011
Author: Gang Hu et al.

by Gang Hu, Bin He

Magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction (MAT-MI) is an emerging approach for noninvasively imaging electrical impedance properties of biological tissues. The MAT-MI imaging system measures ultrasound waves generated by the Lorentz force, having been induced by magnetic stimulation, which is related to the electrical conductivity distribution in tissue samples. MAT-MI promises to provide fine spatial resolution for biological tissue imaging as compared to ultrasound resolution. In the present study, we first estimated the imaging spatial resolution by calculating the full width at half maximum (FWHM) of the system point spread function (PSF). The actual spatial resolution of our MAT-MI system was experimentally determined to be 1.51 mm by a parallel-line-source phantom with Rayleigh criterion. Reconstructed images made from tissue-mimicking gel phantoms, as well as animal tissue samples, were consistent with the morphological structures of the samples. The electrical conductivity value of the samples was determined directly by a calibrated four-electrode system. It has been demonstrated that MAT-MI is able to image the electrical impedance properties of biological tissues with better than 2 mm spatial resolution. These results suggest the potential of MAT-MI for application to early detection of small-size diseased tissues (e.g. small breast cancer).