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Medical Thermal Imaging of Electrically Stimulated Woman Breast: a simulation study

Tissues have different electrical conductivity and metabolic energy consumption values depending on their state of health and species. Since metabolic heat generation values show differences from tissue to tissue, thermal imaging has started to play an important role in medical diagnoses. Temperature differences of healthy and cancerous tissue may be changed by means of frequency dependent current stimulation within medical safety limits, and thus, depth dependent imaging performance can be increased. In this study, a three-dimensional realistic model of a woman breast and malignant tissue is generated and frequency dependent feasibility work for the proposed method is implemented. Temperature distributions are obtained by solving Pennes Bio Heat Equation (using finite element method). Temporal and spatial temperature distribution images are obtained at desired depths for two cases; with and without current application. Different temperature distributions are imaged by altering the frequency of the applied current and the corresponding conductivity value. Improvement in the imaging performance can be provided by current stimulation, and the temperature difference generated by 40 mm 3 tumor at 1.5 cm depth can be detected on breast surface with the state-of-the-art thermal imagers.