TECHNICAL PAPERS: Fluids/Heat/Transport

Thermal Detection of Embedded Tumors Using Infrared Imaging

[+] Author and Article Information
Manu Mital

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24060mmital@vt.edu

E. P. Scott

Department of Mechanical Engineering,  The Virginia Tech–Wake Forest University School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences, Blacksburg, VA 24060scottep@vt.edu

J Biomech Eng 129(1), 33-39 (Jul 01, 2006) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2401181 History: Received October 16, 2004; Revised July 01, 2006

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women. Thermography, also known as thermal or infrared imaging, is a procedure to determine if an abnormality is present in the breast tissue temperature distribution. This abnormality in temperature distribution might indicate the presence of an embedded tumor. Although thermography is currently used to indicate the presence of an abnormality, there are no standard procedures to interpret these and determine the location of an embedded tumor. This research is a first step towards this direction. It explores the relationship between the characteristics (location and power) of an embedded heat source and the resulting temperature distribution on the surface. Experiments were conducted using a resistance heater that was embedded in agar in order to simulate the heat produced by a tumor in the biological tissue. The resulting temperature distribution on the surface was imaged using an infrared camera. In order to estimate the location and heat generation rate of the source from these temperature distributions, a genetic algorithm was used as the estimation method. The genetic algorithm utilizes a finite difference scheme for the direct solution of the Pennes bioheat equation. It was determined that a genetic algorithm based approach is well suited for the estimation problem since both the depth and the heat generation rate of the heat source were accurately predicted.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

2D finite difference scheme in cylindrical coordinates

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Figure 2

Dimensionless sensitivity of the surface temperature to the size and depth of the source

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Figure 3

Representation of the solution

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Figure 4

GA based estimation procedure

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Figure 5

Experimental setup

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Figure 6

The cylinder and the base plate

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Figure 7

A thermal image showing the surface of the cylinder and some radial lines along which the temperature data are taken

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Figure 8

Measured and predicted temperature profiles for the experiments

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Figure 9

The parameters used for different experimental runs and the limits of steady-state detection of the heater assuming a minimum temperature rise of 0.5° on the surface



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