We describe a novel design of a microscopic electrical impedance tomography (micro-EIT) system for long-term noninvasive monitoring of cell or tissue cultures. The core of the micro-EIT system is a sample container including two pairs of current-injection electrodes and 360 voltage-sensing electrodes. In designing the container, we took advantage of a hexagonal structure with fixed dimensions and electrode configuration. This eliminated technical difficulties related to the unknown irregular boundary geometry of an imaging object in conventional medical EIT. Attaching a pair of large current-injection electrodes fully covering the left and right sides of the hexagonal container, we generated uniform parallel current density inside the container filled with saline. The 360 voltage-sensing electrodes were placed on the front, bottom and back sides of the hexagonal container in three sets of 8 × 15 arrays with equal gaps between them. We measured voltage differences between all neighboring pairs along the direction of the parallel current pathway. For the homogeneous container, all measured voltages must be the same since the voltage changes linearly along that direction. Any anomaly in the container perturbed the current pathways and therefore equipotential lines to produce different differential voltage data. For conductivity image reconstructions, we adopted a lately developed image reconstruction algorithm for this electrode configuration to first produce projected conductivity images on the front, bottom and back sides. Using a backprojection method, we reconstructed three-dimensional conductivity images from those projection images. To improve the image quality and also to meet the mathematical requirement on the uniqueness of a reconstructed image, we used a second pair of thin and long current-injection electrodes located at the middle of the front and back sides. This paper describes the design and construction of such a micro-EIT system with experimental results. Proposing the novel micro-EIT system design, we suggest future studies of miniaturizing the sample container for true microscopic conductivity imaging of cell or tissue cultures.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering
- Physiology (medical)