Date of Award

5-11-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.Sc.

Department

Physics

First Advisor

Maev, Roman

Rights

CC-BY-NC-ND

Abstract

Skin cancer represents the most common worldwide malignancy with a widely varying prognosis. Most of the diagnostic tools used for skin imaging are still limited to provide a definite diagnosis of skin cancer, especially melanoma. Easy access to the skin to biopsy and excision made skin underexplored using ultrasonic diagnostic imaging. Given the fact that speed of sound and acoustic impedance are related to elastic modulus, quantitative acoustic microscopy shows great potential as a useful tool for skin cancer diagnosis. The high-frequency acoustic microscopy method was used to evaluate properties of the cancer lesions for melanoma, basal cell carcinoma, and squamous cell carcinoma. The algorithm for quantitative characterization of individual cells in the histological slices has been developed. All cancer cells regardless of the cancer type have lower sound speed comparing to healthy skin cells. The melanoma cells have the lowest values of sound speed (1360 ± 50 m/s) comparing to basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. It was demonstrated on thickly cut skin specimens that melanoma lesions have lower acoustic impedance compared to healthy skin. These findings may become the basis for a new ultrasonic method for melanoma diagnosis or for margin status verification during the surgery helting to reduce the mortality rate from melanoma and improve healthcare in Canada and worldwide.

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