Approaches for improved precision of microwave thermal therapy



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Kansas State University


Thermal therapies employing interstitial microwave applicators for hyperthermia or ablation are in clinical use for treatment of cancer and benign disease in various organs. However, treatment of targets in proximity to critical structures with currently available devices is risky due to unfocused deposition of energy into tissue. For successful treatment, complete thermal coverage of the tumor and margin of surrounding healthy tissue must be achieved, while precluding damage to critical structures. This thesis investigates two approaches to increase precision of microwave thermal therapy. Chapter 2 investigates a novel coaxial antenna design for microwave ablation (MWA) employing a hemi-cylinderical reflector to achieve a directional heating pattern. A proof of concept antenna with an S₁₁ of -29 dB at 2.45 GHz was used in ex vivo experiments to characterize the antennas’ heating pattern with varying input power and geometry of the reflector. Ablation zones up to 20 mm radially were observed in the forward direction, with minimal heating (less than 4 mm) behind the reflector. Chapter 3 investigates the use of magnetic nanoparticles (MNP) of varying size and geometry for enhancing microwave tissue heating. A conventional dipole, operating at 2.45 GHz and radiating 15 W, was inserted into a 20 mm radius sphere of distributed MNPs and heating measurements were taken 5 mm, 10 mm, and 15 mm radially away. A heating rate of 0.08°C/s was observed at 10 mm, an increase of 2-4 times that of the control measurement. These approaches provide strong potential for improving spatial control of tissue heating with interstitial and catheter-based microwave antennas.



Microwave ablation, Hyperthermia, Thermal therapy, Tumor ablation, Directional antenna, Magnetic nanoparticles

Graduation Month



Master of Science


Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Major Professor

Punit Prakash