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Medical applications of microwave and millimetre-wave Imaging

Owda, Amani Yousef (2018) Medical applications of microwave and millimetre-wave Imaging. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.


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This thesis presents a feasibility study of using microwave and millimetre wave radiations to assess burn wounds and the potential for monitoring the healing process under dressing materials, without their removal. As interaction of these types of radiations with the human body is almost exclusively with the skin, there is potential in others areas of medicine such as early skin cancer detection and the diagnosis of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. This study involves developments of experimental methodologies, electromagnetic modelling, and measurements conducted on human skin (in vivo from 150 healthy participants), porcine skin samples (ex vivo from 20 fresh samples), and dressing materials (20 samples). Radiometric measurements obtained from the human skin over the frequency band (80-100) GHz show that the emissivity of the skin varies consistently over different regions of the hand and forearm, with gender, ethnicity, body mass index, age, and hydration level of the skin. A half space electromagnetic model of human skin has been developed and simulations using this model indicate that the human skin can be modelled as a single layer over the band 30 GHz to 300 GHz. The model also indicates that the band could be used to detect burns and a range of medical conditions associated with the skin. Experimental data collected from samples (human and porcine) have been measured by passive and active imaging systems and the results analysed in terms of the emissivity and the reflectivity of the skin. The major outcomes of the thesis are that microwave and millimetre wave radiations are capable of discriminating burn-damaged skin from healthy tissue and these measurements can be made through bandages without the sensor making any physical contact with the skin or the bandage.

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