Real-time simulation of bio-heat transfer can improve surgical feedback in thermo-therapeutic treatment, leading to technical innovations to surgical process and improvements to patient outcomes; however, it is challenging to achieve real-time computational performance by conventional methods. This paper presents a cellular neural network (CNN) methodology for fast and real-time modelling of bio-heat transfer with medical applications in thermo-therapeutic treatment. It formulates nonlinear dynamics of the bio-heat transfer process and spatially discretised bio-heat transfer equation as the nonlinear neural dynamics and local neural connectivity of CNN, respectively. The proposed CNN methodology considers three-dimensional (3-D) volumetric bio-heat transfer behaviour in tissue and applies the concept of control volumes for discretisation of the Pennes bio-heat transfer equation on 3-D irregular grids, leading to novel neural network models embedded with bio-heat transfer mechanism for computation of tissue temperature and associated thermal dose. Simulations and comparative analyses demonstrate that the proposed CNN models can achieve good agreement with the commercial finite element analysis package, ABAQUS/CAE, in numerical accuracy and reduce computation time by 304 and 772.86 times compared to those of with and without ABAQUS parallel execution, far exceeding the computational performance of the commercial finite element codes. The medical application is demonstrated using a high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU)-based thermal ablation of hepatic cancer for prediction of tissue temperature and estimation of thermal dose.
- Cellular neural networks
- Pennes bio-heat transfer equation
- Real-time computation
- Thermo-therapeutic treatment