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Feasibility of Bone Fracture Detection Using Microwave Imaging

Santos, K. C. ; Fernandes, C. A. ; Costa, J.R.

ieee open journal of antennas and propagation Vol. 3, Nº 1, pp. 836 - 847, July, 2022.

ISSN (print): 2637-6431
ISSN (online): 2637-6431

Scimago Journal Ranking: (in )

Digital Object Identifier: 10.1109/OJAP.2022.3194217

This paper studies the feasibility of Microwave Imaging (MWI) for detection of fractures in superficial bones like the tibia, using a simple and practical setup. First-responders could use it for fast preliminary diagnosis in emergency locations, where X-Rays are not available. It may prove valuable also for cases where X-ray are not recommended, e.g., length pregnant women or children. The method is inspired on the synthetic aperture radar technique. A single Vivaldi antenna is used to linearly scan the bone in the 8.3-11.1 GHz frequency range and collect the scattered fields. The system is operated in air, without the need for impractical impedance-matching immersion liquids. The image is reconstructed using a Kirchhoff migration algorithm. A Singular Value Decomposition (SVD) strategy is used to remove skin and background artifacts. To test this technique, a set of full-wave simulations and experiments were conducted on a multilayer phantom and on an ex-vivo animal bone. Results show that the system can detect and locate bone transverse fractures as small as 1 mm width and 13 mm deep, even when the bone is wrapped by 2 mm thick skin.