Irreversible electroporation (IRE) is a non-thermal ablation technique, frequently used to ablate tumors near critical structures such as blood vessels, bile ducts and nerves. Therefore, IRE is the treatment of choice in locally advanced pancreatic cancer, in which the tumor is encased by surrounding blood vessels, and liver tumors in vicinity of the portal vein and biliary system. During IRE, microseconds short electric pulses are delivered between needle-electrodes placed around the tumor, to permanently permeabilize the cell membranes of tumor cells. To permanently permeabilize the cells, it is important to reach a specific electric field strength of approximately 640 V/cm, dependent on the tissue type. Several IRE parameters influence the ablation shape and size, such as the electric field strength, electric pulse duration and number of applied pulses. Although, IRE theoretically is a non-thermal ablation technique, thermal effects are still observed in clinical practice. To optimize the IRE ablation, insight in thermal effects and precise effect of IRE parameters on the ablation zone are important.
The influence of several ablation parameters on the electric field distribution are investigated by a static electric field model consisting of a dipole and electrical insulating oil. More studies will be designed with a focus on optimization of IRE parameter settings.
Several studies of this project are executed in close collaboration with the Robotics and Mechatronics (RAM) department of the University of Twente, Enschede.