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Thermo-Elastic Response of Cutaneous and Subcutaneous Tissues to Noninvasive Radiofrequency Heating

J. Jimenez-Lozano[1], P. Vacas-Jacques[1], W. Franco[1]
[1]Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Radiofrequency (RF) technology offers unique advantages for noninvasive selective heating of relatively large volumes of tissue. In this work, we present a mathematical model for selective non-invasive, non-ablative RF heating of cutaneous and subcutaneous tissue (with detailed fiber septa structures) including their thermo-elastic response. Our analysis shows that the fiber septa architecture affect the static electric field within subcutaneous fat. There is greater electric power absorption in the fiber septa filaments than in fat and it favors the flux of electric current density. When reaching the thermal steady-state, fiber septa contributes to enhance the selective heating of subcutaneous fat tissue. Fiber septa shows shrinkage due to its thermoelastic response, agreeing with clinical observations.