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Relative permittivity of infiltrating breast carcinoma and the surrounding tissue was measured. The experiments were performed at frequencies from 20 kHz to 100 MHz at 37 degrees C using an automatic network analyzer and an end-of-the-line capacitive sensor. Cole-Cole dielectric parameters were calculated by curve fitting using a computer program. Three main categories of tissues were considered: the central part of the tumor, the tumor surrounding tissue, and the peripheral tissue. Within each category, the large spread of the dielectric data for different specimens suggests structural and cellular inhomogeneities of the tumor tissue. However, certain consistency has been found in the dielectric relaxation time and the coefficient of the distribution of the relaxation time within each category. The results seem to indicate that RF impedance imaging can potentially be used as a diagnostic modality for the detection of human breast carcinoma.
Date of Publication: April 1988