Electrical conductivity Imaging via contactless measurements: An experimental study

Gençer, Nevzat Güneri
A data-acquisition system has been developed to image electrical conductivity of biological tissues via contactless measurements. This system uses magnetic excitation to induce currents inside the body and measures the resulting magnetic fields. The data-acquisition system is constructed using a PC-controlled lock-in amplifier instrument. A magnetically coupled differential coil is used to scan conducting phantoms by a computer controlled scanning system. A 10000-turn differential coil system with circular receiver coils of radii 15 mm is used as a magnetic sensor. The transmitter coil is a 100-turn circular coil of radius 15 mm and is driven by a sinusoidal current of 200 mA (peak). The linearity of the system is 7.2% full scale. The sensitivity of the system to conducting tubes when the sensor-body distance is 0.3 cm is 21.47 mV/(S/m). It is observed that it is possible to detect a conducting tube of average conductivity (0.2 S/m) when the body is 6 cm from the sensor. The system has a signal-to-noise ratio of 34 dB and thermal stability of 33.4 mV/degreesC. Conductivity images are reconstructed using the steepest-descent algorithm. Images obtained from isolated conducting tubes show that it is possible to distinguish two tubes separated 17 mm from each other. The images of different phantoms are found to be a good representation of the actual conductivity distribution. The field profiles obtained by scanning a biological tissue show the potential of this methodology for clinical applications.