Negar Tavassolian, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, recently received a grant of $256,000 from the National Science Foundation (NSF), with Stevens' share being $88,000. She is partnering with lead Radiosight, LLC — a company formed by her former Ph.D. student based on a related technology developed in her lab — on the project "STTR Phase 1: Point-of-Care Skin Cancer Imaging Device,” for which she has also received a patent.
This Small Business Technology Transfer Program (STTR) Phase I project is focused on developing a fully-integrated, ultra-wideband, millimeter-wave imaging system for the first time. This will be realized by employing the synthetic ultra-wideband imaging approach, where several disjointed, adjacent imaging sub-bands are integrated to collectively form an ultra-wide imaging bandwidth. This research will enable electronic beam-steering to be used for scanning target regions.
In addition, Tavassolian’s team proposes a novel method for tumor margin identification in 3D millimeter-wave images, which employs a-priori information about the statistical distribution of the dielectric properties of tissues. This will result in higher accuracy and a low computational cost. The ultra-wide bandwidth of the proposed imager will result in significantly higher image resolutions compared to the state-of-the-art millimeter-wave imaging technology.
“We aim to develop a handheld, affordable imaging device that offers large contrasts between normal, malignant, and benign tissues,” said Tavassolian. “This device will significantly enhance the current state of skin cancer detection and management.”