The goal of this research project is to experimentally characterize the size and shape of the ablation zone produced by a deployable radiofrequency ablation tool. The motivation for this project, was derived from the fact that pancreatic cancer is an extremely deadly form of cancer, and is estimated to take 44,330 lives by the end of 2018.
In order to characterize the ablation zone, an experiment was designed using a Radiofrequency Ablation generator and a thermochromic gel material placed in a saline bath. The optimized probe is connected to the radiofrequency generator and inserted into the thermochromic material. The gel is then sliced to reveal the color change produced due to exposure to radiofrequency. Different color change patterns are recorded based on the power at which the generator is operated. The color change patterns are then analyzed and compared to the optimized model.
The results from this research project can be used to design a surgical tool that is minimally invasive and gives the surgeon more precise control over the ablation zone in order to effectively treat pancreatic cancer.