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Research Papers

Numerical Simulation of the Heat Transfer in the Cryoprobe of an Innovative Apparatus for Cryosurgery

[+] Author and Article Information
Barbara Bosio

Department of Civil, Chemical and
Environmental Engineering,
University of Genoa,
Via Opera Pia 15,
Genova 16145, Italy
e-mail: barbara.bosio@unige.it

Dario Bove

Faculty of Sciences and Technology,
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano,
Piazza Università 5,
Bolzano 39100, Italy
e-mail: ing.dariobove@gmail.com

Lorenzo Guidetti

Department of Civil, Chemical and
Environmental Engineering,
University of Genoa,
Via Opera Pia 15,
Genova 16145, Italy
e-mail: lo.guidetti@yahoo.it

Leopoldo Avalle

Crioelass Association,
Via Murcarolo 6/9,
Genova 16167, Italy
e-mail: leo.avalle@libero.it

Elisabetta Arato

Department of Civil, Chemical and
Environmental Engineering,
University of Genoa,
Via Opera Pia 15,
Genova 16145, Italy
e-mail: elisabetta.arato@unige.it

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 20, 2018; final manuscript received August 20, 2018; published online October 17, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Ram Devireddy.

J Biomech Eng 141(1), 011008 (Oct 17, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: BIO-18-1192; doi: 10.1115/1.4041526 History: Received April 20, 2018; Revised August 20, 2018

Cryosurgery is a rapidly developing discipline, alternative to conventional surgical techniques, used to destroy cancer cells by the action of low temperatures. Currently, the refrigeration is obtained via the adiabatic expansion of gases in probes used for surgeries, with the need of inherently dangerous pressurized vessels. The proposed innovative prototypal apparatus aims to reach the cryosurgical temperatures exploiting a closed-loop refrigeration system, avoiding the hazardous presence of pressurized vessels in the operating room. This study preliminarily examines the technical feasibility of the cryoablation with this machine focusing the attention on the cryoprobe design. Cryoprobe geometry and materials are assessed and the related heat transfer taking place during the cryoablation process is simulated with the aid of the computational fluid dynamics software ANSYS®Fluent. Parametric analyses are carried out varying the length of the collecting tubes and the inlet velocity of the cold carrier fluid in the cryoprobe. The values obtained for physical quantities such as the temperature reached in the treated tissue, the width of the obtained cold front, and the maximum pressure required for the cold carrier fluid are calculated and discussed in order to prove the effectiveness of the experimental apparatus and develop the machine further.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Functional process flow diagram of the experimental equipment

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Fig. 2

View of the experimental machine

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Fig. 3

Computer aided design 2D rendering of the cryoprobe model

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Fig. 4

Mesh of the probe tip in ANSYS Meshing (on the right a scheme that identify the location)

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Fig. 5

Velocity magnitude contour at the fluid inlet and outlet (run with setup: v = 2 m s−1 and l = 3 m)

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Fig. 6

Velocity magnitude contour at the tip of the cryoprobe (run with setup: v = 2 m s−1 and l = 3 m)

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Fig. 7

Inlet absolute pressure contour at the fluid inlet and outlet (run with setup: v = 2 m s−1 and l = 3 m)

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Fig. 8

Graph of the required simulated absolute inlet pressure as a function of the fluid inlet velocity and the tube length

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Fig. 9

Temperature contour in the gel region (run with setup: v = 2 m s−1 and l = 3 m)

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Fig. 10

Temperature contour at the tip of the cryoprobe (run with setup: v = 2 m s−1 and l = 3 m)

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Fig. 11

Graph of the temperature at the tip of the cryoprobe as a function of the fluid inlet velocity and the tube length

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Fig. 12

273 K, 253 K, and 233 K iso-surfaces contour in the gel region (run with setup: v = 2 m s−1 and l = 3 m)

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Fig. 13

Graph of the maximum width reached by the 233 K cold front depending on the inlet velocity and the tube length

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Fig. 14

Graph of the maximum height reached by the 233 K cold front depending on the inlet velocity and the tube length

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Fig. 15

Temperature contours during time-dependent simulation

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Fig. 16

Cold front position at −40 °C during time-dependent simulation

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