Date of Award

12-2009

Degree Name

MS in Engineering - Biomedical Engineering

Department

Biomedical and General Engineering

Advisor

Lily Laiho

Abstract

This thesis discusses the research, experimental methods, and data gathered for the investigation of a novel method for the diagnosis of melanoma skin cancer. First, a background about human skin tissue is presented. Then, a detailed description of melanoma along with current diagnosis techniques and treatment options are presented. In the experimental methods, the electrical properties of several types of tissue were analyzed, the purpose of which was to discover if a tissue type can be distinguished by its electrical properties alone. This would allow for the diagnosis of melanoma to be done by examining the electrical properties of the suspected tumor and comparing the results to known values of healthy and cancerous skin. After analyzing the data, it was concluded that tissue types can be identified by their electrical properties and it may be possible to diagnose melanoma through this method. Finally, the possibility of using a similar technology and radiofrequency tissue ablation to treat melanoma is presented.