Electromagnetic imaging using portable microwave devices

The EMERALD project is supporting 13 PhD students for the development of a portable imaging device that can allow real-time imaging…


The EMERALD project has begun.

The project, coordinated by Politecnico di Torino, includes 27 European partners; universities, private companies and hospitals.

Thirteen PhD students are investigating microwave imaging as part of the EMERALD project – ElectroMagnetic imaging for a novel genERation of medicAL Devices.

Professor Francesca Vipiana, Department of Electronics and Telecommunications of Politecnico di Torino coordinates the team which will enhance a colaboration between engineers to identify possible applications of medical imaging of electromagnetic waves at the microwave frequency. Medical doctors would look to transfer the technology from the testing phase to patients.

The researchers mention that medical devices developed by the project will be portable and low cost, allowing real-time monitoring of therapy efficacy and pathology evolution. This would represent how novel the proposed devices are in comparison to the traditional ones, said the researchers.

The project looks to last four years, with 8 PhD candidates developing new technologies, and 5 concentrating on working on the devices. The students will interact with academic institutes, hospitals and private companies with the objective of reaching the pre-clinical phase.

Politecnico di Torino researchers will concentrate on application to cerebral pathologies like ischemia, ictus, hemorrhage, hematoma caused by traumas. The portable device developed will be an “helmet” allowing on-site monitoring of injured people. The use of non-ionizing radiations such as microwaves will allow frequent testing that is not plausible with current imaging systems such as CT scanning.

From the 13 PhD students, two will work in Politecnico, with one under the supervision of Professor Mario Casu, and the other under the supervision of Professor Francesca Vipiana.

The Institute for Electromagnetic Sensing of the Environment of the National Research Council of Italy (IREA-CNR), based in Naples, will host two of the EMERALD PhD students under the supervision of Dr Lorenzo Crocco.

The researchers collectively aim to develop a portable imaging device which can allow real-time imaging. The project will finish in 2022.