• Tactile sensation imaging system and algorithms for tumor detection

      Won, Chang-Hee, 1967-; Picone, Joseph; Biswas, Saroj K.; Darvish, Kurosh; Lin, Shan (Temple University. Libraries, 2011)
      Diagnosing early formation of tumors or lumps, particularly those caused by cancer, has been a challenging problem. To help physicians detect tumors more efficiently, various imaging techniques with different imaging modalities such as computer tomography, ultrasonic imaging, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging, and mammography, have been developed. However, each of these techniques has limitations, including exposure to radiation, excessive costs, and complexity of machinery. Tissue elasticity is an important indicator of tissue health, with increased stiffness pointing to an increased risk of cancer. In addition to increased tissue elasticity, geometric parameters such as size of a tissue inclusion are also important factors in assessing the tumor. The combined knowledge of tissue elasticity and its geometry would aid in tumor identification. In this research, we present a tactile sensation imaging system (TSIS) and algorithms which can be used for practical medical diagnostic experiments for measuring stiffness and geometry of tissue inclusion. The TSIS incorporates an optical waveguide sensing probe unit, a light source unit, a camera unit, and a computer unit. The optical method of total internal reflection phenomenon in an optical waveguide is adapted for the tactile sensation imaging principle. The light sources are attached along the edges of the waveguide and illuminates at a critical angle to totally reflect the light within the waveguide. Once the waveguide is deformed due to the stiff object, it causes the trapped light to change the critical angle and diffuse outside the waveguide. The scattered light is captured by a camera. To estimate various target parameters, we develop the tactile data processing algorithm for the target elasticity measurement via direct contact. This algorithm is accomplished by adopting a new non-rigid point matching algorithm called "topology preserving relaxation labeling (TPRL)." Using this algorithm, a series of tactile data is registered and strain information is calculated. The stress information is measured through the summation of pixel values of the tactile data. The stress and strain measurements are used to estimate the elasticity of the touched object. This method is validated by commercial soft polymer samples with a known Young's modulus. The experimental results show that using the TSIS and its algorithm, the elasticity of the touched object is estimated within 5.38% relative estimation error. We also develop a tissue inclusion parameter estimation method via indirect contact for the characterization of tissue inclusion. This method includes developing a forward algorithm and an inversion algorithm. The finite element modeling (FEM) based forward algorithm is designed to comprehensively predict the tactile data based on the parameters of an inclusion in the soft tissue. This algorithm is then used to develop an artificial neural network (ANN) based inversion algorithm for extracting various characteristics of tissue inclusions, such as size, depth, and Young's modulus. The estimation method is then validated by using realistic tissue phantoms with stiff inclusions. The experimental results show that the minimum relative estimation errors for the tissue inclusion size, depth, and hardness are 0.75%, 6.25%, and 17.03%, respectively. The work presented in this dissertation is the initial step towards early detection of malignant breast tumors.