Bipolar radiofrequency ablation treatment of liver cancer employing monopolar needles: A comprehensive investigation on the efficacy of time-based switching

Shelley Yap, Ean H. Ooi, Ji J. Foo, Ean T. Ooi

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    2 Citations (Scopus)


    Radiofrequency ablation (RFA) is a thermal ablative treatment method that is commonly used to treat liver cancer. However, the thermal coagulation zone generated using the conventional RFA system can only successfully treat tumours up to 3 cm in diameter. Switching bipolar RFA has been proposed as a way to increase the thermal coagulation zone. Presently, the understanding of the underlying thermal processes that takes place during switching bipolar RFA remains limited. Hence, the objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive understanding on the thermal ablative effects of time-based switching bipolar RFA on liver tissue. Five switch intervals, namely 50, 100, 150, 200 and 300 s were investigated using a two-compartment 3D finite element model. The study was performed using two pairs of RF electrodes in a four-probe configuration, where the electrodes were alternated based on their respective switch interval. The physics employed in the present study were verified against experimental data from the literature. Results obtained show that using a shorter switch interval can improve the homogeneity of temperature distribution within the tissue and increase the rate of temperature rise by delaying the occurrence of roll-off. The coagulation volume obtained was the largest using switch interval of 50 s, followed by 100, 150, 200 and 300 s. The present study demonstrated that the transient thermal response of switching bipolar RFA can be improved by using shorter switch intervals.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number104273
    Number of pages15
    JournalComputers in Biology and Medicine
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


    • Ablation efficacy
    • Cancer treatment
    • Multipolar
    • RFA
    • Thermal ablation

    Cite this