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J Biomed Opt. 2007 Mar-Apr;12(2):024027.

Finding the position of tumor inhomogeneities in a gel-like model of a human breast using 3-D pulsed digital holography.

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  • 1Centro de Investigaciones en Optica, A.C., Loma del Bosque 115, Col. Lomas del Campestre León, Guanajuato, México 37150.


3-D pulsed digital holography is a noninvasive optical method used to measure the depth position of breast tumor tissue immersed in a semisolid gel model. A master gel without inhomogeneities is set to resonate at an 810 Hz frequency; then, an identically prepared gel with an inhomogeneity is interrogated with the same resonant frequency in the original setup. Comparatively, and using only an out-of-plane sensitive setup, gel surface displacement can be measured, evidencing an internal inhomogeneity. However, the depth position cannot be measured accurately, since the out-of-plane component has the contribution of in-plane surface displacements. With the information gathered, three sensitivity vectors can be obtained to separate contributions from x, y, and z vibration displacement components, individual displacement maps for the three orthogonal axes can be built, and the inhomogeneity's depth position can be accurately measured. Then, the displacement normal to the gel surface is used to find the depth profile and its cross section. Results from the optical data obtained are compared and correlated to the inhomogeneity's physically measured position. Depth position is found with an error smaller than 1%. The inhomogeneity and its position within the gel can be accurately found, making the method a promising noninvasive alternative to study mammary tumors.

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