Electric field distributions in a phased-array applicator with 12 channels: Measurements and numerical simulations



In this paper we examine the SIGMA-Eye hyperthermia applicator (BSD Medical Corp., Salt Lake City, Utah 84119) with respect to the control of electric field distributions. This applicator is equipped with 12 pairs of antennas fed by 12 amplifiers, allowing the individual adjustment of phase and power for each of them. Measurements were conducted using phantoms with well-defined electrical properties. Specific electro-optical sensors, capable of measuring both electric field amplitudes and phases, have been developed, and a system for data acquisition and analysis has been set up. In its initial state the applicator appeared not to be satisfactorily matched at 100 MHz for the phantom used, with return losses up to 20% in power. By tuner readjustments we achieved values below 5%. For various settings of the amplifiers' control parameters we measured field distributions, both in the phantom and in the surrounding water bolus. The experimental results were compared with numerical simulations based on finite difference and finite element methods. Measured and calculated electric fields exhibit deviations of 10% on average, allowing, in principle, a satisfactory prediction of fields by numerical simulations or as well by on-line measurements at selected locations of the applicator at antenna proximity. However, to obtain this satisfactory agreement a modification of the control parameters in the calculations (phases and amplitudes in the feed points of the antennas) was necessary. The origin of these problems is mainly attributed to cross-talk phenomena and other characteristics of the transforming network, which need to be scrutinized further for a full understanding.