Microwave applicator for hyperthermia treatment on in vivo melanoma model

Med Biol Eng Comput. 2010 Mar;48(3):285-92. doi: 10.1007/s11517-009-0563-8. Epub 2009 Dec 24.


In this article, we evaluated a planar microwave applicator for in vivo superficial hyperthermia treatments on small tumors in the mouse mimicking treatments for human neoplasms. The design of the applicator, was challenged by the small dimensions of the tumors and unwanted diffusion of heating in the tumor-bearing animals. The required solution was to limit the penetration of microwaves in the depth of the tissue maintaining the full efficacy of hyperthermia. The study was firstly performed by computer simulations of SAR distribution inside a flat homogeneous phantom, considering various thicknesses of the integrated water bolus. Simulations, validated by the measurements, were also used to evaluate the impedance matching. Further tests were performed on homogeneous agar phantom to simulate the temperature distribution in the biological tissue and to preliminary assess the possible modality and schedule of microwave hyperthermia delivery. The in vivo experiments showed the evidence of direct microwave-induced heating and damage of the melanoma tissue in a range of penetration coherent both with computer simulations and phantom studies. The described approach appears perspective for designing limited-microwave-delivery applicators tailored for treatments of human superficial tumors and pre-tumoral lesions.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Equipment Design
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / instrumentation*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods
  • Melanoma, Experimental / pathology
  • Melanoma, Experimental / therapy*
  • Mice
  • Microwaves / therapeutic use*
  • Models, Biological
  • Phantoms, Imaging
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / therapy*