Skip to main content

A Body Scan for Cancer Detection using Quantum Technology

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CANCER SCAN (A Body Scan for Cancer Detection using Quantum Technology)

Reporting period: 2020-01-01 to 2021-04-30

The objective of this project is development of a radically new unified technological concept of biomedical detection. The new concept will be based on unified transmission and detection of photons with the aid of orbital angular momentum and hyper-spectral characteristics. These will enable a revolutionary scanner capable of detecting cancer not only in a specified organ but in various parts of the body at once, even from remote locations, and with no radiation risk whatsoever. Our pilot project will be focused on the early detection of breast cancer. Breast cancer is the most common female cancer and after lung cancer the second leading cause of cancer death, with one in 37 women dying from the disease. Early detection when lesions are still small, not yet metastasized and amendable to curative treatment is pivotal. Mammography, as the state of the art method for breast cancer screening, requires ionizing radiation and is limited in sensitivity especially in younger women and/or women with dense breasts. In addition, it was found that in high risk patients (mutation carriers, familial high risk), mammography is less effective than magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), which is a more costly, requires the application of contrast agents and is a less accessible option.. Thus, the development of an improved, radiation-free, robust and reliable detection method is of paramount importance.
A novel detection algorithm will be developed based on clinical trials in breast cancer patients, using the unified transmission and detection theory. We chose to verify our concept in the area of breast cancer due to its prevalence and the condition that feeds our concept (large amount of tissue without bone). In the long term this approach can be adapted to other areas of bio-medical diagnostics leading to total mass screening. The concept is based on non invasive utilization of light and its ramifications are numerous. In the proposed project, the endeavor will be both theoretical and experimental including derivation of a mathematical model and development of an experimental bio-compatible test-bed for cancer detection with minimal false positives.
Project management included draft of IP agreement, data management plan, work on dissemination including website, facebook page and news releases.
Safety and clinical requirements for the prototype were determined including clinical scenarios for screening, lesion characterization and staging, surgical and biopsy specimen assessment. A mathematical model of the normal breast was derived.
Study was conducted of the propagation of OAM modes and vector vortex beams through scattering media. Beam propagation was measured in latex beads to investigate resolution degradation due to scattering and polarization analysis after scattering. (This work has led to a publication, currently submitted.)
Statistical analysis of average breast size was conducted to determine how deep effective penetration should be. In addition we conducted experiments on light propagation through tissue, comparing propagation of scattered and unscattered OAM modes through scattering media. With higher modes, higher output gain was achieved.
Work was done that involved generation of OAM light beams for experimental work with a spatial light modulator (SLM). An original algorithm was written to create the hologram,where the algorithm enables dynamic creation of desired hologram, projection of hologram on SLM and statistical analysis of output beam. Optical setup was developed enabling minimal power loss, isolation of first harmonic, flexibility in measurement device (camera/power meter). Research involved reduction of power loss for different orders of OAM, and exploration of quantum imaging within tissue.
Work was done on single photon source for entangled pairs: investigation and definition of optimal laser source and of photon generation scheme. Tunable sources were analysed. Commercial components were chosen and part of them was already ordered, and the source was designed. A Sagnac based PPKTP source pumped by multiple CW laser, for wavelength tunability of the generated entangled photons, was chosen as the optimal design at this stage in terms of reliability, brightness and stability.
Work was done on the receiver system: 3D optomechanical scanning system was constructed to enable optimal scanning for the experimental work. A software/class was written to control the system. Work was begun on application of deep learning to the detector. Experiments were performed to test light penetration as well as beam distribution, for different orders of OAM. An initial network was created for detecting suspicious areas and currently data based on measurements (augmentation) is being built. In parallel work was done on detector design: specification of requirements, components purchased, experimental setup constructed. Experiments were performed on propagation of light through media, first with diffuse media (melamine sponge) and then slices of chicken breast.
A physical model of the breast was designed, in a two step process: First, transformation of the mathematical model from a point cloud into a CAD solid model. Second, design of the compressed breast model phantom mold. Work was also begun on development and testing of silicon mold for breast phantom. In addition, work was done on two sets of cylindrical phantoms was made. Optical characterization for absorption and scattering was determined and phantoms were manufactured.
OAM propagation within phantoms was measured. A study was conducted of the scattering distribution of OAM through phantoms, including spatial resolution analysis. In addition, OAM propagation through biological tissue was studied. Gain for different OAM modes was compared (as expected, gain increased with higher modes.)
A scanning unit was designed consisting of bed, laser and detector. Scanner includes small beam diameter scanning galvo mirror systems and motorized translation stage. Detector has line detector on a 1D stage, EMCCD camera.
Progress at this first year of work involved development of the system, definition of clinical and technical requirements, and experimentation on propagation of light with the specific characteristics in question through diffuse matter. This conforms to the aims of the project for this stage of the work.
Our system