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A Wearable Microwave Antenna Array for Time-Domain Breast Tumor Screening

E. Porter, H. Bahrami, A. Santorelli, B. Gosselin, L. A. Rusch, M. Popovich
IEEE Trans Med Imaging vol. 35, issue 6: 1501 - 1509, January 2016

In this work, we present a clinical prototype with a wearable patient interface for microwave breast cancer detection. The long-term aim of the prototype is a breast health monitoring application. The system operates using multistatic time-domain pulsed radar, with 16 flexible antennas embedded into a bra. Unlike the previously reported, table-based prototype with a rigid cup-like holder, the wearable one requires no immersion medium and enables simple localization of breast surface. In comparison with the table-based prototype, the wearable one is also significantly more cost-effective and has a smaller footprint. To demonstrate the improved functionality of the wearable prototype, we here report the outcome of daily testing of the new, wearable prototype on a healthy volunteer over a 28-day period. The resulting data (both signals and reconstructed images) is compared to that obtained with our table-based prototype. We show that the use of the wearable prototype has improved the quality of collected volunteer data by every investigated measure. This work demonstrates the proof-of-concept for a wearable breast health monitoring array, which can be further optimized in the future for use with patients with various breast sizes and tissue densities.

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