Tetra-polar electrical impedance measurement (TPIM) with a square geometry of electrodes is useful in the characterization of epithelial tissues, especially in the detection of cervical cancer at precancerous stages. However, in TPIM, the peak planar sensitivity just below the electrode surface is almost zero and increases to a peak value at a depth of about one third to one half of the electrode separation. To get high sensitivity for the epithelial layer, having thicknesses of 200 μm to 300 μm, the electrode separation needed is less than 1 mm, which is difficult to achieve in practical probes. This work proposes a conical conducting layer in front of a pencil like probe with a square geometry of TPIM electrodes to create virtual electrodes with much smaller separation at the body surface, thus increasing the sensitivity of the epithelial tissues. To understand the improvements, if any, 3D sensitivity distribution and transfer impedance were simulated using COMSOL Multiphysics software for a simplified body tissue model containing a 300 μm epithelial layer. It has been shown that fractional contribution of an epithelial layer can be increased several times placing a cylindrical conducting layer in between the tissue surface and the electrodes, which can further be enhanced using a conical conducting layer. The results presented in this paper can be used to choose an appropriate electrode separation, conducting layer height and cone parameters for enhanced sensitivity in the epithelial layer.
Rashida Haque, Muhammad Abdul Kadir and K Siddique-e Rabbani
For probing deep organs of the body using electrical impedance, the conventional method is to use Electrical Impedance Tomography (EIT). However, this would be a sophisticated machine and will be very expensive when a full 3D EIT is developed in the future. Furthermore, for most low income countries such expensive devices may not deliver the benefits to a large number of people. Therefore, this paper suggests the use of simpler techniques like Tetrapolar Impedance Measurement (TPIM) or Focused Impedance Method (FIM) in probing deeper organs. Following a method suggested earlier by one of the authors, this paper studies the possibility of using TPIM and FIM for the stomach. Using a simplified model of the human trunk with an embedded stomach, a finite element simulation package, COMSOL, was used to obtain transfer impedance values and percentage contribution of the stomach region in the total impedance. For this work, judicious placement of electrodes through qualitative visualizations based on point sensitivity equations and equipotential concepts were made, which showed that reasonable contribution of the stomach region is possible through the use of TPIM and FIM. The contributions were a little over 20% which is of similar order of the cross-sectional area percentage of the stomach with respect to that of the trunk. For the case where the conductivity of the stomach region was assumed about 4 times higher, the contributions increased to about 38%. Through further studies this proposed methods may contribute greatly in the study of deeper organs of the body.