Real-time Volumetric Thermoacoustic Imaging and Thermometry using a 1.5D Ultrasound Array

Chandra Karunakaran, Hongbo Zhao, Hao Xin, Russell S. Witte

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Noninvasive thermal therapies for treatment of breast cancer depend on accurate monitoring of tissue temperature to optimize treatment and ensure safety. This work describes a real-time system for 3D thermoacoustic imaging and thermometry (TAI-TAT) for tracking temperature in tissue samples during heating. The study combines a 2.7 GHz microwave pulse generator with a custom 1.5D 0.6 MHz ultrasound array for generating and detecting TA signals. The system is tested and validated on slabs of biological tissue and saline gel during heating. Calibration curves for relating the TA signal to temperature was calculated in saline gel (3.40%/°C), muscle (1.73%/°C) and fat (1.15%/°C), respectively. The calibrations were used to produce real-time, volumetric temperature maps at ~3 sec intervals with a spatial resolution of approximately 3 mm. TAT temperature changes within a region of interest were compared to adjacent thermocouples with a mean error of 17.3%, 13.2%, and 20.4% for muscle, gel and fat, respectively. The TAT algorithm was also able to simultaneously track temperatures in different tissues. With further development, noninvasive TAI-TAT may prove to be a valuable method for accurate and real-time feedback during breast cancer ablation therapy.


  • breast cancer
  • Electromagnetic heating
  • focused microwave therapy
  • Heating systems
  • HIFU
  • Hyperthermia
  • Imaging
  • Microwave imaging
  • radiofrequency ablation
  • Real-time systems
  • Temperature measurement
  • thermal therapy
  • Ultrasonic imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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