Computer modeling of electromagnetic and thermal effects in microwave soft tissue ablation

Nigel J Cronin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Microwave Endometrial Ablation (MEA) is a technique that can be used for the treatment of abnormal uterine bleeding. The procedure involves sweeping a specially designed microwave applicator throughout the uterine cavity to achieve an ideally uniform depth of tissue necrosis of between 5 and 6mm. We have performed a computer analysis of the MEA procedure in which finite element analysis was used to determine the SAR pattern around the applicator. This was followed by a Green Function based solution of the Bioheat equation to determine the resulting induced temperatures. The method developed is applicable to situations involving a moving microwave source, as used in MEA. The validity of the simulation was verified by measurements in a tissue phantom material using a purpose built applicator and a calibrated pulling device. From the calculated temperatures the depth of necrosis was assessed through integration of the resulting rates of cell death estimated using the Arrhenius equation. The Arrhenius parameters used were derived from published data on BHK cells. Good agreement was seen between the calculated depths of cell necrosis and those found in human in-vivo testing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-219
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of SPIE
Publication statusPublished - May 2005
EventConference on Treatment of Tissue: Energy Delivery and Assessment III -
Duration: 1 May 2005 → …


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