Development of an electrical impedance tomograph for complex impedance imaging

  • Hing Leung

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    This project concerns the development of electrical impedance tomography towards the production of complex impedance images. The prime intention was to investigate the feasibility of developing suitable instrumentation; but not clinical applications. It was aimed to develop techniques for the performance evaluation of data collection systems.

    To achieve this it was necessary to design and develop a multiĀ· current source type impedance tomography system, to act as a platform for the current study and for future work. The system developed is capable of producing conductivity and permittivity images. It employs microprocessor based data collection electronics, providing portability between a range of possible host computers.

    The development of the system included a study of constant amplitude current source circuits leading to the design and employment of a novel circuit. In order to aid system testing, a surface mount technology resistor-mesh test object was produced. This has been adopted by the EEC Concerted Action on Impedance Tomography (CAIT) programme as the first standard test object. A computer model of the phantom was produced using the industry standard ASTEC3 circuit simulation package. This development allows the theoretical performance of any system topology, at any level of detail, to be established.

    The imaging system has been used to produce images from test objects, as well as forearm and lung images on humans. Whilst the conductivity images produced were good, the permittivity in-vivo images were noisy, despite good permittivity images from test objects.

    A study of the relative merits of multiple and single stimulus type systems was carried out as a result of the discrepancies in the in-vivo and test object images. This study involved a comparison of the author's system with that of Griffiths at the University Hospital of Wales. The results showed that the multi current source type system, whilst able to reduce stray capacitance, creates other more significant errors due to circuit matching; future development in semiconductor device technology may help to overcome this difficulty. It was identified that contact impedances together with the effective capacitance between the measurement electrode pairs in four-electrode systems reduces the measurability of changes in phase. A number of benchmarking indices were developed and implemented, both for system characterisation and for practical/theoretical design comparisons.
    Date of AwardAug 1991
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Polytechnic of Wales

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