Document Type


Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Timothy E. Doyle

Exhibition Venue

Utah State University Student Showcase

Funding Agency

NIH Grant No. 5R21CA131798-02


A current problem in medicine and specifically breast cancer is the detection of microscopic cancer in surgical margins to ensure all of the cancer has been removed. Current methods rely on extensive pathology work that may take several days to complete. For breast cancer patients, positive findings for cancer in surgical margins require follow-up surgery to remove more tissue. Up to 50% of patients undergoing breast conservation surgery (lumpectomy) require additional surgery. A preferable method would be in vivo microscopic detection for use during surgery. Such methods would reduce risks, costs, and patient suffering that accompany follow-up operations. Ultrasound is a promising in vivo detection method due to its low cost, portability, and ability to detect tissue changes arising from cancer. Recent simulations modeling very high frequency (VHF) ultrasonic wave reflections show differences between the reflection signals of a normal breast cell monolayer and tumor cell monolayer. Experimental measurements of two-dimensional (2D) tissue cultures and control samples support that a single layer of cells can be detected using this method. Simulations of more complex, three-dimensional (3D) tissue structures are ongoing, and future plans include the testing of surgical specimens from breast cancer patients.

Included in

Physics Commons



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