Experimental evaluation of the thermal properties of two tissue equivalent phantom materials.
Tissue equivalent radio frequency (RF) phantoms provide a means for measuring the power deposition of various hyperthermia therapy applicators. Temperature measurements made in phantoms are used to verify the accuracy of various numerical approaches for computing the power and/or temperature distributions. For the numerical simulations to be accurate, the electrical and thermal properties of the materials that form the phantom should be accurately characterized. This paper reports on the experimentally measured thermal properties of two commonly used phantom materials, i.e. a rigid material with the electrical properties of human fat, and a low concentration polymer gel with the electrical properties of human muscle. Particularities of the two samples required the design of alternative measuring techniques for the specific heat and thermal conductivity. For the specific heat, a calorimeter method is used. For the thermal diffusivity, a method derived from the standard guarded comparative-longitudinal heat flow technique was used for both materials. For the 'muscle'-like material, the thermal conductivity, density and specific heat at constant pressure were measured as: k = 0.31 +/- 0.001 W(mK)(-1), p = 1026 +/- 7 kgm(-3), and c(p) = 4584 +/- 107 J(kgK)(-1). For the 'fat'-like material, the literature reports on the density and specific heat such that only the thermal conductivity was measured as k = 0.55 W(mK)(-1).
Craciunescu, OI; Howle, LE; Clegg, ST
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