Receiving real-time information on tissue properties while performing biopsy procedures has the potential of improving biopsy accuracy. The study goal was to test the ability of a miniature flexible Radio-Frequency (RF) sensor (Dune Medical Devices), designed to be mounted on the surface of surgical tools, in measuring and mapping the various breast tissue types and abnormalities in terms of electrical properties.
Between January and October 2012, 102 patients undergoing lumpectomy, open-biopsy or mastectomy, in 3 medical centers, were enrolled in this study. The device was applied to freshly excised specimens, with registration between device measurements and histology analysis. Based on histology, the dielectric properties of the various tissue types were derived. Additionally, the ability of the device to differentiate between malignant and non-malignant tissue was assessed.
A total of 4322 measurements from 106 specimens from 102 patients were analyzed. The dielectric properties of 10 tissue types in the low RF-frequency range were measured, showing distinct differences between the various types. Based on the dielectric properties, a score variable was derived, which showed a correlation of 90 % between the RF measurements and the tissue types. Differentiation ability between tissue types was characterized using ROC curve analysis, with AUC of 0.96, and sensitivity and specificity of 90 and 91 % respectively, for tissue feature sizes at or above 0.8 mm.
Using a radio-frequency near-field spectroscopy miniature flexible sensor the dielectric properties of multiple breast tissue types, both normal and abnormal, were evaluated. The results show promise in differentiating between various breast tissue types, and specifically for differentiation between cancer and normal tissues.