Terahertz pulsed imaging and spectroscopy of breast tumors

Vincent P. Wallace, Emma Pickwell-Macpherson, Anthony J. Fitzgerald, Thomas Ehring, Elena Provenzano, Sarah E. Pinder, Anand D. Purushotham

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


We have developed a portable terahertz pulsed imaging system (TPI Imaga1000) for use in a clinical environment. The system uses photoconduction to generate and detect terahertz radiation with frequency content from 0.1-4 THz. Here, we report on a study using TPI for imaging breast tumours ex vivo. Several breast samples were imaged and parameters from the time domain impulse functions were used to provide contrast. The size and shape of tumour regions in the terahertz images were compared with the corresponding histology section. Good correlation was found for area and shape of rumour in the THz images compared to that of histology. In addition, we have also performed spectroscopy study comparing the terahertz properties (absorption coefficient and refractive index) of excised normal breast skin and breast tumor. Both the absorption coefficient and refractive index were higher for tissue containing tumor compared to normal. These changes are consistent with higher water content and structural changes, like increased cell and protein density. This study demonstrates the potential of TPI to image both invasive breast carcinomas and ductal carcinoma in situ using THz and encourages further studies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptical Methods in the Life Sciences
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventOptical Methods in the Life Sciences - Boston, MA, United States
Duration: 1 Oct 20063 Oct 2006


ConferenceOptical Methods in the Life Sciences
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBoston, MA


Dive into the research topics of 'Terahertz pulsed imaging and spectroscopy of breast tumors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this