Skip to content

Development of smart textile for early detection of breast cancer S&T45

  • School: School of Science and Technology
  • Study mode(s): Full-time / Part-time
  • Starting: 2022
  • Funding: UK student / EU student (non-UK) / International student (non-EU) / Fully-funded


NTU's Fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme 2022

Project ID: S&T45

According to Cancer Research UK, there have been over 55,000 new breast cancer cases and around 11,000 lives are lost every year. Currently there are various methods to detect breast cancer in women across the globe, the simplest being a clinical breast examination (CBE) but the most accurate is mammography used adjunctly with ultrasound therapy. There are some drawbacks to mammography though, such as exposure to potentially harmful X-ray radiation and the frequent use of hospital resources.

Electrical impedance scanning (EIS) provides a non-invasive approach to detect anomalies in the breast. In the beta dispersion frequency range (1 kHz to 1 MHz), the intracellular and extracellular fluids display changes in their electrical properties, so when a current is applied through the breast tissue, a specialist or a computer program can analyse the changes in electrical properties to determine if the changes in impedance or phase difference are potential signs of breast cancer. Despite the fact that EIS doesn’t provide the same level of accuracy compared to other methods such as ultrasound or mammography, it can detect signs of cancer much earlier, whilst being much more cost-effective and resourceful.

The PhD topic will focus on the design, fabrication and characterisation of a smart textiles in the form of vest or bra with integrated sensing system. The tumour tissue will be measured non-invasively and continuously during the daily activity. The machine learning algorithm will analysis and predicate any protentional cancer formation at the earliest stage as possible. The objectives of this research are therefore:

  1. to develop a smart textile sensing system that is capable of detecting impedance in 3-dimenions
  2. to develop the interface electronics that can accurately measure the impedance over a frequency range of interest
  3. to fully integrated the sensing system and electronics within a garment, such as vest, and study the wearability, breathability and washability
  4. to validate the smart textile with tumour phantom and then in vitro (non-human object)
  5. to test the overall system in vivo with a small number of human participants through the Nottingham University Hospital.

School strategic research priority

This project is strongly aligned with two strategic themes, Medical Technologies and Advanced Materials, and Health and Wellbeing.
Since the project is engineering oriented in which a novel wearable medical device will be developed, it also aligns with the Imaging, Materials and Engineering Centre.

Entry qualifications

For the eligibility criteria, visit our studentship application page.

How to apply

For guidance and to make an application, please visit our studentship application page. The application deadline is Friday 14 January 2022.

Fees and funding

This is part of NTU's 2022 fully-funded PhD Studentship Scheme.

Guidance and support

Download our full applicant guidance notes for more information.

Still need help?

+44 (0)115 941 8418