Controlled Destruction and Temperature Distributions in Biological Tissues Subjected to Monoactive Electrocoagulation

[+] Author and Article Information
A. Erez, A. Shitzer

Techion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

J Biomech Eng 102(1), 42-49 (Feb 01, 1980) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138197 History: Received September 08, 1978; Revised April 13, 1979; Online June 15, 2009


An analysis of the temperature fields developed in a biological tissue undergoing a monoactive electrical coagulating process is presented, including thermal recovery following prolonged heating. The analysis is performed for the passage of alternating current and assumes a homogeneous and isotropic tissue model which is uniformly perfused by blood at arterial temperature. Solution for the one-dimensional spherical geometry is obtained by a Laplace transform and numerical integrations. Results obtained indicate the major role which blood perfusion plays in determining the effects of the coagulating process; tissue temperatures and depth of destruction are drastically reduced as blood perfusion increases. Metabolic heat generation rate is found to have negligible effects on tissue temperatures whereas electrode thermal inertia affects temperature levels appreciably. However, electrodes employed in practice would have a low thermal inertia which might be regarded as zero for all practical purposes. It is also found that the depth of tissue destruction is almost directly proportional to the electrical power and duration of application. To avoid excessively high temperatures and charring, it would be advantageous to reduce power and increase the time of application. Results of this study should be regarded as a first approximation to the rather complex phenomena associated with electrocoagulation. They may, nevertheless, serve as preliminary guidelines to practicing surgeons applying this technique.

Copyright © 1980 by ASME
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