Journal of Medical Imaging • Open AccessSingle-coil magnetic induction tomographic three-dimensional imaging
Previously, magnetic induction tomography (MIT) has been considered for noncontact imaging of human tissue electrical properties. Commonly, multiple coils are used, with any one serving as the source while others detect eddy currents generated in the specimen. Here, imaging of low conductivity objects is shown feasible with a single coil acting simultaneously as source and detector, provided that the coil is repeatedly relocated while collecting coil loss data. To enable such “scanning,” an analytical coil loss formula is derived in the quasistatic limit for a single coil consisting of several concentric circular wire loops, all within a common plane. Conductivity may vary arbitrarily in space, whereas permittivity and permeability are treated as uniform. The analytical form is used to build an algorithm for imaging electrical conductivity in human tissues. A practical device operating at 12.5 MHz is described and used in a clinical trial that “scans” the region between the scapulae while collecting coil loss data. Inversion of data leads to electrical conductivity distribution images for the thoracic spinal column which are the first of their kind to correctly distinguish such basic features as size and depth of spinal canal, as well as size, depth, and spacing of transverse spinal processes.