Tissue classification using terahertz pulsed imaging

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5 Citations (Scopus)


We demonstrate the application of terahertz pulsed imaging (TPI) in reflection geometry as a diagnostic aid for epithelial cancer, specifically basal cell carcinoma. Epithelial cancer, which includes skin, breast and colon cancer, accounts for about 85% of all cancers. The terahertz (THz) region is typically defined in the frequency range of 0.1-10 THz. The sensitivity of terahertz radiation to water makes TPI an ideal technique for the study of skin, particularly as cancerous tissue has been shown to contain more water than normal tissue. Twenty-one ex vivo skin samples from a previous study, which successfully identified all 17 samples exhibiting basal cell carcinoma, were analysed in detail using time-domain algorithms to determine the role of TPI as a diagnostic aid. Eight parameters were assessed, four of which were identified as uncorrelated. The samples were classified into two groups: diseased tissue, and tissue without disease. A sensitivity and specificity greater than 80% for six of the parameters was attained. These results demonstrate the potential of TPI as a diagnostic aid.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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