The Application of High-Frequency Microwaves in Tissue Ablation for Cancer Treatment
Luyen, Hung Thanh
Hagness, Susan C.
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The study demonstrates the feasibility of using high-frequency microwaves for tissue ablation by comparing the performance of a 10 GHz microwave ablation system with that of a 1.9 GHz system. Two sets of floating sleeve dipole antennas operating at these frequencies were designed and fabricated for use in ex vivo experiments with bovine livers. Combined electromagnetic and transient thermal simulations were conducted to analyze the performance of these antennas. Subsequently, a total of 16 ablation experiments (eight at 1.9 GHz and eight at 10.0 GHz) were conducted at a power level of 42 W for either 5 or 10 minutes. In all cases, the 1.9 GHz and 10 GHz experiments resulted in comparable ablation zone dimensions. Temperature monitoring probes revealed faster heating rates in the immediate vicinity of the 10.0 GHz antenna compared to the 1.9 GHz antenna, along with a slightly delayed onset of heating farther from the 10 GHz antenna, suggesting that heat conduction plays a greater role at higher microwave frequencies in achieving a comparably sized ablation zone. The results obtained from these experiments agree very well with the combined electromagnetic/thermal simulation results. These simulations and experiments show that using lower frequency microwaves does not offer any significant advantages, in terms of the achievable ablation zones, over using higher frequency microwaves. Indeed, it is demonstrated that high-frequency microwave antennas may be used to create reasonably large ablation zones. Higher frequencies offer the advantage of smaller antenna size, which is expected to lead to less invasive interstitial devices and may possibly lead to the development of more compact multi-element arrays with heating properties not available from single-element antennas.