Terahertz cancer imaging and sensing: open research challenges and opportunities

Mavis Gezimati, Ghanshyam Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


There has been a rapid development of THz technology—sources, detectors and various THz imaging and sensing techniques. The THz technology demonstrates great potential as a modality for early, label free, non-ionizing and non-invasive detection of cancer. Some progressive technological development milestones have been achieved in this regard, however, to become clinically competitive and to provide the sought after real operational convenience, there is need for further research and development to overcome the existing challenges. This paper provides recent trends and perspectives through identification of existing challenges for the development of THz imaging and sensing systems that can evolve into actual medical modalities. We provide an overview of various aspects of THz technology, including techniques for imaging and sensing, mechanisms for THz image contrast and models for tissue dielectric responses to THz waves. The THz imaging application for detection of various cancers is briefed. The advantages of THz cancer imaging and sensing as well as the existing challenges are identified, with recommendations provided in contribution to future research. Further, some recent THz imaging and sensing developments such as the near-field methods to break the diffraction limit including waveguides, resonance and plasmonic metasurfaces are discussed. We emphasize the contribution of analytical algorithms that are based on machine learning, in particular, deep learning for the development of THz technology. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish
Article number727
JournalOptical and Quantum Electronics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


  • Biomedical application
  • Cancer detection
  • Challenges
  • Merits
  • Recent trends
  • Research opportunities
  • Terahertz imaging and sensing
  • Terahertz technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Terahertz cancer imaging and sensing: open research challenges and opportunities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this