Subcutaneous temperatures: a method of noninvasive sensing

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Science  14 Nov 1975:
Vol. 190, Issue 4215, pp. 669-671
DOI: 10.1126/science.1188361


A new method of noninvasive sensing of the subsurface temperature distribution in human and animal tissue is described. Thermal radiation emitted from subsurface depths of several centimeters can be detected with microwave receivers. Temperature sensitivity of order 0.1 degree C and spatial resolution of approximately 1 by 2 centimeters have been obtained. Measurements demonstrating the technique, with feline and human tissue, are reported. A potential medical application is the detection of subsurface thermal anomalies such as malignant tumors and regions of vascular insufficiency.