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The electrical impedance diagnostic methods and instrumentation developed at the Gdansk and Warsaw Universities of Technology are described. On the basis of knowledge of their features, several original approaches to the broad field of electrical impedance applications are discussed. Analysis of electrical field distribution after external excitation, including electrode impedance, is of primary importance for measurement accuracy and determining the properties of the structures tested. Firstly, the problem of electrical tissue properties is discussed. Particular cells are specified for in vitro and in vivo measurements and for impedance spectrometry. Of especial importance are the findings concerning the electrical properties of breast cancer, muscle anisotropy and the properties of heart tissue and flowing blood. The applications are both important and wide-ranging but, for the present, special attention has been focused on the evaluation of cardiosurgical interventions. Secondly, methods of instrument construction are presented which use an electrical change in conductance, such as impedance pletysmography and cardiography, for the examination of total systemic blood flow. A new method for the study of right pulmonary artery blood flow is also introduced. The basic applications cover examination of the mechanical activity of the heart and evaluation of many haemodynamic parameters related to this. Understanding the features that occur during blood flow is of major importance for the proper interpretation of measurement data. Thirdly, the development of electrical impedance tomography (EIT) is traced for the purposes of determining the internal structure of organs within the broad field of 2-D and 3-D analysis and including modelling of the organs being tested, the development of reconstruction algorithms and the construction of hardware.
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