Spectroscopic thermoacoustic imaging of water and fat composition

Daniel R. Bauer, Xiong Wang, Jeff Vollin, Hao Xin, Russell S. Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


During clinical studies, thermoacoustic imaging (TAI) failed to reliably identify malignant breast tissue. To increase detection capability, we propose spectroscopic TAI to differentiate samples based on the slope of their dielectric absorption. Phantoms composed of different ratios of water and fat were imaged using excitation frequencies between 2.7 and 3.1 GHz. The frequency-dependent slope of the TA signal was highly correlated with that of its absorption coefficient (R 2 0.98 and p < 0.01), indicating spectroscopic TAI can distinguish materials based on their intrinsic dielectric properties. This approach potentially enhances cancer detection due to the increased water content of many tumors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033705
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 16 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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