Gen-2 hand-held optical imager towards cancer imaging: reflectance and transillumination phantom studies

Sensors (Basel). 2012;12(2):1885-97. doi: 10.3390/s120201885. Epub 2012 Feb 10.


Hand-held near-infrared (NIR) optical imagers are developed by various researchers towards non-invasive clinical breast imaging. Unlike these existing imagers that can perform only reflectance imaging, a generation-2 (Gen-2) hand-held optical imager has been recently developed to perform both reflectance and transillumination imaging. The unique forked design of the hand-held probe head(s) allows for reflectance imaging (as in ultrasound) and transillumination or compressed imaging (as in X-ray mammography). Phantom studies were performed to demonstrate two-dimensional (2D) target detection via reflectance and transillumination imaging at various target depths (1-5 cm deep) and using simultaneous multiple point illumination approach. It was observed that 0.45 cc targets were detected up to 5 cm deep during transillumination, but limited to 2.5 cm deep during reflectance imaging. Additionally, implementing appropriate data post-processing techniques along with a polynomial fitting approach, to plot 2D surface contours of the detected signal, yields distinct target detectability and localization. The ability of the gen-2 imager to perform both reflectance and transillumination imaging allows its direct comparison to ultrasound and X-ray mammography results, respectively, in future clinical breast imaging studies.

Keywords: diffuse optical imaging; hand-held imager; hand-held probe; near-infrared; reflectance; transillumination.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Equipment Design
  • Equipment Failure Analysis
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / instrumentation*
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted / instrumentation*
  • Infrared Rays
  • Lighting / instrumentation*
  • Mammography / instrumentation*
  • Miniaturization
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Photometry / instrumentation*
  • Transducers*