This new technology makes use of ultrahigh bandwidth microwaves, and the electrical property contrast that is found between tumor cells and fatty cells. Tumors have a much greater permittivity than the fatty cells that the breast is composed of. It is this contrast that allows the simple detection and visualization of malignant tumors in breast tissue.

The reason this technology requires the use of ultrahigh bandwidth microwaves is because higher bandwidth results in higher resolution. The breast is illuminated sequentially with microwaves from an array of antennas. The pulses penetrate the outer skin and fatty cells (this tissue is very translucent at higher frequencies, therefore very little is reflected back) and the reflection and transmission values are measured.




A focusing algorithm written by Dr. Fear is then used to establish a relative location. The distance of the antenna is measured to a focal point in the breast. All of the signals are then added together. The focal point is scanned through all areas of the breast to form an image. When the focal point is on the area of a tumor the reflections of the tumor will create a much larger frequency response than other normal areas. These responses can be used to determine an approximate location of a sub cm tumor at realistic depths.