Conductivity change with needle electrode during high frequency irreversible electroporation: a finite element study

Amir Khorasani 1 , Seyed Mohammad Firoozabadi 1 , and Zeinab Shankayi 1
  • 1 Department of Medical Physics, School of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran


Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a process in which the cell membrane is damaged and leads to cell death. IRE has been used as a minimally invasive ablation tool. This process is affected by some factors. The most important factor is the electric field distribution inside the tissue. The electric field distribution depends on the electric pulse parameters and tissue properties, such as the electrical conductivity of tissue. The present study focuses on evaluating the tissue conductivity change due to high-frequency and low-voltage (HFLV) as well as low-frequency and high-voltage (LFHV) pulses during irreversible electroporation. We were used finite element analysis software, COMSOL Multiphysics 5.0, to calculate the conductivity change of the liver tissue. The HFLV pulses in this study involved 4000 bipolar and monopolar pulses with a frequency of 5 kHz, pulse width of 100 µs, and electric field intensity from 100 to 300 V/cm. On the other hand, the LFHV pulses, which we were used, included 8 bipolar and monopolar pulses with a frequency of 1 Hz, the pulse width of 2 ms and electric field intensity of 2500 V/cm. The results demonstrate that the conductivity change for LFHV pulses due to the greater electric field intensity was higher than for HFLV pulses. The most significant conclusion is the HFLV pulses can change tissue conductivity only in the vicinity of the tip of electrodes. While LFHV pulses change the electrical conductivity significantly in the tissue of between electrodes.

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