Recipe for Cost-Efficient Freshly Excised Breast Tissue Phantoms for Medical Imaging Using Terahertz Technology


Technology #19-45


This invention is for the field of medical imaging using the new terahertz technology. Testing new medical imaging technologies on freshly excised human or animal breast tumors is not practical or even feasible, in addition of being highly costly. It requires a huge amount of tissues to establish a systematic methodology, calibrate the imaging system, train students and technical staff to produce and interpret images, explore new methods to collect data, etc. Obtaining human breast tumors is challenging particularly for researchers outside medical settings. Working with tumors obtained from animal models is time consuming where tumors need to be grown in mice, for examples, and that takes months. Therefore, we came up with the idea of developing breast tumors tissue phantoms that mimic freshly excised breast tumors from the electrical properties and elasticity aspects. We developed 3D printed models to make 3D tumors of heterogeneous structure similar to human tumors where cancerous, fatty, and healthy tissues are mingled together. Our phantom tissues cost around 8-13 cents compared to 300-400 US dollar for freshly excised human tumor of the same size.


Application(s) / Product(s) / Service(s):


About 268,600 new breast cancer patients will be diagnosed in 2019 [1]. The anticipated services and applications of the invention are:


1. Establishing imaging methodology (calibration, image processing, physics based imaging) in labs that uses the new technology of terahertz imaging.

2. Biomedical Engineering companies looking for affordable calibration and tuning sets for imaging equipment

3. Clinics interested in implementing terahertz imaging in their operating rooms where lumpectomy is performed on patients.

4. Universities interested in developing affordable outreach and educational activities. This invention relates to several STEM areas such as electrical engineering and applied electromagnetics, biomedical engineering and imaging, physics and optics, biology, chemical and process engineering, mechanical engineering and material science, 3D printing, modeling and design.





1. The developed phantoms exhibit optical properties that show good correlation with the literature data for freshly excised breast tissue. The percent error between human fresh tissue and the developed phantoms is less than 5% error.

2. The developed phantoms are cost-efficient. The estimated materials cost in 0.08 cents for the IDC and fibrous phantom respectively and 0.13 cents for the fatty tissue phantom. Freshly excised human breast tissue price can range from 300$ to 400$ per sample.

3. The preparation of the phantom is faster than the waiting time involved when waiting for fresh tissue. The preparation time is 15 minutes per phantom compared to five months waiting time for fresh tissue.

4. Several phantoms can be produced in a single day providing a faster and cheaper alternative to freshly excised human breast tissue for developing terahertz imaging methodology.





There are not any competitors in the market that produce cost-efficient phantoms for terahertz imaging and spectroscopy. The main competitor for this invention is freshly excised breast cancer tissue, which price ranges from $300 to $400 per 1cmx1cm/0.5cm specimen compared to $0.08-$0.13 per same size phantom tissue.



This invention/technology is available for licensing.

For interested parties seeking further information, feel free to contact:

Mark Allen Lanoue

Technology Manager / Tech Ventures

University of Arkansas

(479) 575-7243



Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Mark Lanoue
Technology Manager
University of Arkansas
Magda El-Shenawee
Igliana Castillo
Alec Walter
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