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Prof Mahta Moghaddam, University of Southern California

Medical thermal therapy and monitoring using advanced inverse scattering techniques



Mahta MoghaddaMahta Moghaddam is Professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) Ming Hsieh department of electrical engineering. She received the PhD degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana, in 1991. From 1991 to 2003, she was with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, and at the University of Michigan from 2003 to 2011.

During the past ~25 years of involvement in microwave sensing for environmental and medical applications, Prof Moghaddam has introduced new measurement concepts and quantitative interpretation approaches for monostatic and multistatic microwave observations. Her most recent contributions include the development of new radar measurement technologies for subsurface and subcanopy characterisation, development of forward and inverse scattering techniques for complex and random media, developing sensor web technologies for environmental and body-area sensing, and transforming concepts of radar remote sensing to medical imaging and therapy applications.

She is a Fellow of IEEE, Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Magazine. She is currently serving as the Director of New Research Initiatives at the USC Viterbi School of Engineering.


The use of microwave technologies in treatment of cancer has gained substantial attention in recent years. This includes not only delivering thermal treatments for hyperthermia and ablation, but more recently, also using microwave imaging for providing closed-loop guidance during thermal treatment procedures.

With the observation that dielectric properties of biological tissue are sensitive to changes in temperature, we have successfully shown that we can generate real-time 3D temperature maps of tissue using microwave inverse scattering during thermal therapy treatments. This microwave monitoring method relies on accurate and fast inverse scattering for reconstruction of complex dielectric constant with multistatic microwave measurements.

A perennial problem in performing inverse scattering experiments is how to measure the scattered “fields.” Microwave measurement systems do not measure fields but voltages. To address this problem, we have proposed the “vector Greens’ function” as an alternate formulation of the volume integral equation, where instead of the scattered electric field, the integral equation is written in terms of the voltage.

This presentation will go over the formulation and various enhancements made possible by this method, and will show a succession of experimental demonstrations and image reconstruction results for real-time thermal monitoring.

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12 February 2018
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