Fiber Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors applied to bio-medical procedures such as surgery and rehabilitation are a valid alternative to traditional sensing techniques due to their unique characteristics. Herein we propose the use of FBG sensor arrays for accurate real-time temperature measurements during multi-step RadioFrequency Ablation (RFA) based thermal tumor treatment. Real-time temperature monitoring in the RF-applied region represents a valid feedback for the success of the thermo-ablation procedure.<p> </p> In order to create a thermal multi-point map around the tumor area to be treated, a proper sensing configuration was developed. In particular, the RF probe of a commercial medical instrumentation, has been equipped with properly packaged FBGs sensors. Moreover, in order to discriminate the treatment areas to be ablated as precisely as possible, a second array 3.5 cm long, made by several FBGs was used.<p> </p> The results of the temperature measurements during the RFA experiments conducted on ex-vivo animal liver and kidney tissues are presented herein. The proposed FBGs based solution has proven to be capable of distinguish different and consecutive discharges and for each of them, to measure the temperature profile with a resolution of 0.1 °C and a minimum spatial resolution of 5mm. Based upon our experiments, it is possible to confirm that the temperature decreases with distance from a RF peak ablation, in accordance with RF theory. The proposed solution promises to be very useful for the surgeon because a real-time temperature feedback allows for the adaptation of RFA parameters during surgery and better delineates the area under treatment.
We report on the integration of fiber optic sensors with commercial medical instrumentation for temperature monitoring during radio frequency ablation for tumor treatment. A suitable configuration with five fiber Bragg grating sensors bonded to a bipolar radio frequency (RF) probe has been developed to monitor the area under treatment. A series of experiments were conducted on ex-vivo animal kidney and liver and the results confirm that we were able to make a multipoint measurement and to develop a real-time temperature profile of the area, with a temperature resolution of 0.1°C and a spatial resolution of 5 mm during a series of different and consecutive RF discharges.