Harmonic Motion Microwave Doppler Imaging: A Simulation Study Using a Simple Breast Model

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A hybrid method for tissue imaging using dielectric and elastic properties is proposed and investigated with simple bi-layered breast model. In this method, local harmonic motion is generated in the tissue using a focused ultrasound probe. A narrow-band microwave signal is transmitted to the tissue. The Doppler component of the scattered signal, which depends on the dielectric and elastic properties of the vibrating region, is sensed. A plane-wave spectrum technique is used together with reciprocity theorem for calculating the response of a vibrating electrically small spherical tumor in breast tissue. The effects of operating frequency, antenna alignment and distance, and tumor depth on the received signal are presented. The effect of harmonic motion frequency on the vibration amplitude and displacement distribution is investigated with mechanical simulations using the finite element method. The safety of the method is analyzed in terms of microwave and ultrasound exposure of the breast tissue. The results show that the method has a potential in detecting tumors inside fibro-glandular breast tissue.