Theranostics 2017; 7(4):1026-1035. doi:10.7150/thno.18191

Research Paper

Evaluation of a Novel Thermal Accelerant for Augmentation of Microwave Energy during Image-guided Tumor Ablation

William Keun Chan Park, Aaron Wilhelm Palmer Maxwell, Victoria Elizabeth Frank, Michael Patrick Primmer, Scott Andrew Collins, Grayson Luderman Baird, Damian Edward Dupuy

Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Rhode Island Hospital, The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, USA.


The primary challenge in thermal ablation of liver tumors (e.g. hepatocellular carcinoma and hepatic colorectal cancer) is the relatively high recurrence rate (~30%) for which incomplete ablation at the periphery of the tumor is the most common reason. In an attempt to overcome this, we have developed a novel thermal accelerant (TA) agent capable of augmenting microwave energy from a distance normally unattainable by a single microwave ablation antenna. This cesium-based block co-polymer compound transforms from a liquid to a gel at body temperature and is intrinsically visible by computed tomography. Using an agarose phantom model, herein we demonstrate that both the rate and magnitude of temperature increase during microwave ablation were significantly greater in the presence of TA when compared with controls. These results suggest robust augmentation of microwave energy, and may translate into larger ablation zone volumes within biologic tissues. Further work using in vivo techniques is necessary to confirm these findings.

Keywords: Image-guided thermal ablation, microwave ablation, thermal accelerant, augmentation of microwave energy, non-radioactive cesium chloride, block-co-polymer, PLGA-PEG-PLGA, dipole moment, complex dielectric permittivity, dielectric constant, loss factor.

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How to cite this article:
Park WKC, Maxwell AWP, Frank VE, Primmer MP, Collins SA, Baird GL, Dupuy DE. Evaluation of a Novel Thermal Accelerant for Augmentation of Microwave Energy during Image-guided Tumor Ablation. Theranostics 2017; 7(4):1026-1035. doi:10.7150/thno.18191. Available from