Electrical conductivity imaging of biological tissue has attracted considerable interest in recent years owing to research indicating that electrical properties, especially electrical conductivity and permittivity, are indicators of underlying physiological and pathological conditions in biological tissue. Also, the knowledge of electrical conductivity of biological tissue is of interest to researchers conducting electromagnetic source imaging and in design of devices that apply electromagnetic energy to the body such as MRI. So, the need for a non-invasive, high resolution impedance imaging method is highly desired. To address this need we have studied the magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction (MAT-MI) method. In MAT-MI, the object is placed in a static and a dynamic magnetic field giving rise to ultrasound waves. The dynamic field induces eddy currents in the object, and the static field leads to generation of acoustic vibrations from Lorentz force on the induced currents. The acoustic vibrations are at the same frequency as the dynamic magnetic field, which is chosen to match the ultrasound frequency range. These ultrasound signals can be measured by ultrasound probes and are used to reconstruct MAT-MI acoustic source images using possible ultrasound imaging approaches .The reconstructed high spatial resolution image is indicative of the object's electrical conductivity contrast. We have investigated ultrasound imaging methods to reliably reconstruct the MAT-MI image under the practical conditions of limited bandwidth and transducer geometry. The corresponding imaging algorithm, computer simulation and experiments are developed to test the feasibility of these different methods. Also, in experiments, we have developed a system with the strong static field of an MRI magnet and a strong pulsed magnetic field to evaluate MAT-MI in biological tissue imaging. It can be seen from these simulations and experiments that conductivity boundary images with millimeter resolution can be reliably reconstructed with MAT-MI. Further, to estimate the conductivity distribution throughout the object, we reconstruct a vector source image corresponding to the induced eddy currents. As the current source is uniformly present throughout the object, we are able to reliably estimate the internal conductivity distribution for a more complete imaging. From the computer simulations and experiments it can be seen that MAT-MI method has the potential to be a clinically applicable, high resolution, non-invasive method for electrical conductivity imaging.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2014. Major: Biomedical Engineering. Advisor: Dr. Bin He. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 139 pages.
Magnetoacoustic tomography with magnetic induction for electrical conductivity based tissue imaging.
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