In this study, we explore a new application of thermoacoustic tomography (TAT) for imaging human finger joints and bones. Three volunteers’ finger joints and bones were visualized with satisfying image contrast and spatial resolution by a TAT scanner. The recovered TAT images revealed apparent microwave absorption differences between the joint cavity and bone. Beyond the full single finger imaging, a volunteer’s four fingers were clearly and concurrently imaged. To confirm our observations, MRI images of two volunteers’ fingers were performed, and the TAT recovered shape/size of the fingers were consistent with the MRI findings. To further assess the feasibility of TAT for finger joint and bone imaging, we quantitatively calculated the conductivity of a case. This initial study suggests that TAT may be a good candidate for screening, diagnosing, and monitoring treatment of joint and bone diseases.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.