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A 3-D Hybrid Finite Element Model to Characterize the Electrical Behavior of Cutaneous Tissues

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4 Author(s)
Alzbeta E. Hartinger ; Institut de Génie Biomédical, École Polytechnique de Montréal, Montréal, Canada ; Robert Guardo ; Victor Kokta ; HervĂ© Gagnon

Finite element modeling of the skin is useful to study the electrical properties of cutaneous tissues and gain a better understanding of the current distribution within the skin. Such an epithelial finite element model comprises extremely thin structures like cellular membranes, nuclear membranes, and the extracellular fluid. Meshing such narrow spaces considerably increases the number of elements leading to longer computing time. This also greatly reduces the number of epithelial cells that can be assembled before reaching computing limitations. To avoid the problem of meshing extremely narrow spaces while unnecessarily increasing the number of elements, we present a new hybrid modeling approach to develop a 3-D finite element model of the skin. This skin model comprises all skin layers, different lesion types, and a complete electrode model. It is used to analyze the complex electrical behavior of normal and malignant skin tissues. The current distribution within this model is also simulated to assess the depth of field achievable by an electrical impedance tomography system at different operating frequencies.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering  (Volume:57 ,  Issue: 4 )