TeraView's terahertz system to help in fight against tumours

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The University of Arkansas has installed a terahertz imaging system for a variety of research fields including breast cancer imaging and fabrication of nanoscale materials.

In 2012, the US government's National Science Foundation awarded the university and its Dr Magda El-Shenawee, a principal investigator and professor of electrical engineering, a new terahertz imaging and spectroscopy system.

Dr El-Shenawee will use the system to research the applications of terahertz imaging in medicine. 'Among many important applications, this system will allow us to continue our work on developing a non-hazardous and non-invasive imaging system for breast-cancer,' she said. 'Because of the unique properties of terahertz light, the system will help reduce cancer recurrence by contributing to the thermal ablation of tumours.'

The terahertz imaging system is the TPS Spectra 3000 from TeraView. Terahertz pulsed imaging provides a good contrast between different types of soft tissue, and is a sensitive means of detecting the degree of water content as well as other markers of cancer and other diseases.