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Theoretical and experimental study on RF tumor ablation with internally cooled electrodes: When does the roll-off occur?

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4 Author(s)
Alba, J. ; Biomedical Synergy, Electronic Engineering Department, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Spain ; Gonzalez-Suarez, A. ; Trujillo, M. ; Berjano, E.

The Cool-tip is one of the most widely employed electrodes in radiofrequency (RF) ablation (RFA) of hepatic tumors. This electrode creates reliable geometry and coagulation zones. Despite the advantages of this electrode, during the ablation is produced a phenomenon called roll-off in which impedance increases, energy deposition completely stops and the lesion size cannot be increased. Consequently, the thermal lesion size is smaller and the tumors which can be ablated are smaller too. In this research we studied theoretical and experimentally the electrical-thermal performance of the Cool-tip electrode during RFA of hepatic tissue. Mainly, we were interested in the occurrence of the roll-off and its relationship with the tissue temperatures around the electrode. The theoretical model included the vaporization of the tissue and the variation of the thermal and electrical conductivities with temperature. The model was solved numerically using COMSOL Multiphysics software. For the experimental part we conducted a study in ex vivo liver tissue. The experimental and theoretical results showed that the roll-off is totally related when temperatures around 100°C surrounds the tissue close to the center of the Cool-tip. The knowledge of this fact brings a powerful tool to analyze alternative methods or techniques to avoid the roll-off.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, EMBC, 2011 Annual International Conference of the IEEE

Date of Conference:

Aug. 30 2011-Sept. 3 2011