News | October 07, 2009

Math May Connect the Dots in Diffuse Optical Tomography

Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) to use for breast cancer screening. Image by Clemson University.

October 7, 2009 - Mathematical solutions to enhance the image quality of diffuse optical tomography (DOT) to use for breast cancer screening is in development at Clemson University in collaboration with researchers at the University of Bremen, Germany.

The challenge with DOT is to create high-resolution images from a scattering of infrared and visible light for the early detection of breast cancer. Mathematical sciences professors Taufiquar Khan of Clemson and Peter Maass of the University of Bremen are developing mathematical models to improve resolution.

While the method is less expensive, safer and more comfortable than X-rays used in mammograms, the problem is it not generating a strong enough resolution to detect smaller breast cancers.

DOT may eliminate harmful radiation to the body as well as false positives and negatives caused by mammography X-rays. Researchers hope that the discomfort of mammograms will become a thing of the past and that DOT will enable diagnostic imaging eventually to be done in a home setting. It could also possibly be used as an adjunct to diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound.

For more information: www.clemson.edu

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