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Three Dimensional Electrical Impedance Tomography

By P. Metherall, D.C. Barber, R.H. [] Smallwood and B.H. Brown


The electrical resistivity of mammalian tissues varies widely and is correlated with physiological\ud function. Electrical impedance tomography (EIT) can be used to probe such variations in vivo, and offers a\ud non-invasive means of imaging the internal conductivity distribution of the human body. But the\ud computational complexity of EIT has severe practical limitations, and previous work has been restricted to\ud considering image reconstruction as an essentially two-dimensional problem. This simplification can limit\ud significantly the imaging capabilities of EIT, as the electric currents used to determine the conductivity variations will not in general be confined to a two-dimensional plane. A few studies have attempted three-dimensional EIT image reconstruction, but have not yet succeeded in generating images of a quality suitable for clinical applications. Here we report the development of a three-dimensional EIT system with greatly improved imaging capabilities, which combines our 64-electrode data-collection apparatus with customized matrix inversion techniques. Our results demonstrate the practical potential of EIT for clinical applications, such as lung or brain imaging and diagnostic screening.\u

Year: 1996
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