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Microwave imaging of human forearms: pilot study and image enhancement.

ABSTRACT

We present a pilot study using a microwave tomography system in which we image the forearms of 5 adult male and female volunteers between the ages of 30 and 48. Microwave scattering data were collected at 0.8 to 1.2 GHz with 24 transmitting and receiving antennas located in a matching fluid of deionized water and table salt. Inversion of the microwave data was performed with a balanced version of the multiplicative-regularized contrast source inversion algorithm formulated using the finite-element method (FEM-CSI). T1-weighted MRI images of each volunteer's forearm were also collected in the same plane as the microwave scattering experiment. Initial "blind" imaging results from the utilized inversion algorithm show that the image quality is dependent on the thickness of the arm's peripheral adipose tissue layer; thicker layers of adipose tissue lead to poorer overall image quality. Due to the exible nature of the FEM-CSI algorithm used, prior information can be readily incorporated into the microwave imaging inversion process. We show that by introducing prior information into the FEM-CSI algorithm the internal anatomical features of all the arms are resolved, significantly improving the images. The prior information was estimated manually from the blind inversions using an ad hoc procedure.