Design and realisation of tissue-equivalent dielectric simulators for dosimetric studies on microwave antennas for interstitial ablation

V. Lopresto, R. Pinto, R. Lodato, G.A. Lovisolo, M. Cavagnaro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal ablation therapies, based on electromagnetic field sources (interstitial or intracavitary antennas) at radio and microwave frequencies, are increasingly used in medicine due to their proven efficacy in the treatment of many diseases (tumours, stenosis, etc). Such techniques need standardized procedures, still not completely consolidated, as to analyze the behaviour of antennas for treatment optimisation. Several tissue-equivalent dielectric simulators (also named phantoms) have been developed to represent human head tissues, and extensively used in the analysis of human exposure to the electromagnetic emissions from hand-held devices; yet, very few studies have considered other tissues, as those met in ablation therapies. The objective of this study was to develop phantoms of liver and kidney tissue to experimentally characterise interstitial microwave antennas in reference conditions. Phantom properties depend on the simulated target tissue (liver or kidney) and the considered frequency (2.45 GHz in this work), addressing the need for a transparent liquid to easily control the positioning of the probe with respect to the antenna under test. An experimental set-up was also developed and used to characterise microwave ablation antenna performances. Finally, a comparison between measurements and numerical simulations was performed for the cross-validation of the experimental set-up and the numerical model. The obtained results highlight the fundamental role played by dielectric simulators in the development of microwave ablation devices, representing the first step towards the definition of a procedure for the ablation treatment planning. © 2011 Associazione Italiana di Fisica Medica.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)245 - 253
Number of pages9
JournalPhysica Medica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

Cite this