11 March 2015 Numerical model study of radio frequency vessel sealing thermodynamics
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Several clinically successful clinical radio frequency vessel-sealing devices are currently available. The dominant thermodynamic principles at work involve tissue water vaporization processes. It is necessary to thermally denature vessel collagen, elastin and their adherent proteins to achieve a successful fusion. Collagens denature at middle temperatures, between about 60 and 90 C depending on heating time and rate. Elastin, and its adherent proteins, are more thermally robust, and require temperatures in excess of the boiling point of water at atmospheric pressure to thermally fuse. Rapid boiling at low apposition pressures leads to steam vacuole formation, brittle tissue remnants and frequently to substantial disruption in the vessel wall, particularly in high elastin-content arteries. High apposition pressures substantially increase the equilibrium boiling point of tissue water and are necessary to ensure a high probability of a successful seal. The FDM numerical models illustrate the beneficial effects of high apposition pressures.
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John Pearce, John Pearce, "Numerical model study of radio frequency vessel sealing thermodynamics", Proc. SPIE 9326, Energy-based Treatment of Tissue and Assessment VIII, 93260A (11 March 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2076812; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2076812

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