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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 15 — Jul. 20, 2009
  • pp: 12444–12454

Terahertz pulsed spectroscopy of freshly excised human breast cancer

Philip C. Ashworth, Emma Pickwell-MacPherson, Elena Provenzano, Sarah E. Pinder, Anand D. Purushotham, Michael Pepper, and Vincent P. Wallace  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 15, pp. 12444-12454 (2009)

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The complex refractive indices of freshly excised healthy breast tissue and breast cancers collected from 20 patients were measured in the range of 0.15 – 2.0 THz using a portable terahertz pulsed transmission spectrometer. Histology was performed to classify the tissue samples as healthy adipose tissue, healthy fibrous breast tissue, or breast cancers. The average complex refractive index was determined for each group and it was found that samples containing cancer had a higher refractive index and absorption coefficient. The terahertz properties of the tissues were also used to simulate the impulse response functions expected when imaging breast tissue in a reflection geometry as in terahertz pulsed imaging (TPI). Our results indicate that both TPS and TPI can be used to distinguish between healthy adipose breast tissue, healthy fibrous breast tissue and breast cancer due to the differences in the fundamental optical properties.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(000.1430) General : Biology and medicine
(170.6510) Medical optics and biotechnology : Spectroscopy, tissue diagnostics
(300.6495) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, teraherz
(170.6935) Medical optics and biotechnology : Tissue characterization

ToC Category:
Medical Optics and Biotechnology

Original Manuscript: May 4, 2009
Revised Manuscript: June 29, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: June 29, 2009
Published: July 20, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 9 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Philip C. Ashworth, Emma Pickwell-MacPherson, Elena Provenzano, Sarah E. Pinder, Anand D. Purushotham, Michael Pepper, and Vincent P. Wallace, "Terahertz pulsed spectroscopy of freshly excised human breast cancer," Opt. Express 17, 12444-12454 (2009)

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