Flexible 16 Antenna Array for Microwave Breast Cancer Detection

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2015 Oct;62(10):2516-25. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2015.2434956. Epub 2015 May 19.


Radar-based microwave imaging has been widely studied for breast cancer detection in recent times. Sensing dielectric property differences of tissues has been studied over a wide frequency band for this application. We design single- and dual-polarization antennas for wireless ultrawideband breast cancer detection systems using an inhomogeneous multilayer model of the human breast. Antennas made from flexible materials are more easily adapted to wearable applications. Miniaturized flexible monopole and spiral antennas on a 50-μm Kapton polyimide are designed, using a high-frequency structure simulator, to be in contact with biological breast tissues. The proposed antennas are designed to operate in a frequency range of 2-4 GHz (with reflection coefficient (S11) below -10 dB). Measurements show that the flexible antennas have good impedance matching when in different positions with different curvature around the breast. Our miniaturized flexible antennas are 20 mm × 20 mm. Furthermore, two flexible conformal 4 × 4 ultrawideband antenna arrays (single and dual polarization), in a format similar to that of a bra, were developed for a radar-based breast cancer detection system. By using a reflector for the arrays, the penetration of the propagated electromagnetic waves from the antennas into the breast can be improved by factors of 3.3 and 2.6, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Algorithms
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Diagnostic Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Microwaves / therapeutic use*
  • Wireless Technology / instrumentation*