Nathan R. Goulding1, Joel D. Marquez2, Emily M. Prewett3,
Thomas N. Claytor4,
Brett R. Nadler4, and
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,
4Los Alamos National Laboratory
5Karmanos Cancer Institute
Improving the resolution and specificity of current ultrasonic imaging technology is needed to improve its relevance to breast cancer detection. A novel ultrasonic method is described that exploits several different techniques that include improving signal processing for better image resolution, using novel staging hardware options, and using a rotary pitch-catch approach based on the use of Time-Reversal Mirrors (TRM). A phantom breast with various inclusions is imaged using this new method and is compared to standard computer tomography (CT) scans. These innovative ultrasonic methods incorporate ultrasound data acquisition, ultrasonic refocusing, and image reconstruction. For ultrasonic frequencies of 1-5 MHz, imaged tumors of approximately 1-2 mm are resolved and identified. State-of-the-art x-ray mammography is limited to detecting tumors that are on average 12 mm in size or greater. Improved image quality and resolution enables earlier detection and more accurate diagnoses of tumors thus reducing the number of biopsies preformed, increasing treatment options, and lowering remission percentages. Using these new techniques, we resolve the inclusions in the phantom breast and compare the results with standard methods.