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Honors Thesis Archive

Author Susannah M. Engdahl
Title Solving the Bioheat Equation for Transcutaneous Recharging of a Medical Device Using Electric Fields
Department Physics
Advisors Dan Fleisch, Elizabeth George, and Adam Parker
Year 2013
Honors University Honors
Full Text View Thesis (589 KB) Note: This is a very large file; it may be easier to download the file to your computer and open it from there.

The recording of electric potentials within the body, an important part of numerous medical procedures, is typically achieved by placing a series of electrodes on the surface of a patient's skin. However, this is not a practical approach in situations where long-term data collection is required, as the patient may experience physical discomfort from the electrodes. A recently developed system of subcutaneous (under the skin) electrodes may provide a less obtrusive means of collecting data over long periods of time. Because the traditional method of recharging the device using magnetic fields will not be optimal, it is desirable to show that the use of electric fields for recharging is safe. Specifically, any increase in tissue temperature due to resistive power dissipation must remain within established medical standards. In this work, we derive an analytic solution to the heat equation as applied to a biological situation. This solution will allow for an improved understanding of the influence of various physical parameters on the temperature increase.

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