Electrical conductivity measurement in Thiel-embalmed tissue model: relevance to radiofrequency ablation

Zhigang Wang, Hongyan Luo, M. Nick, M. Gueorguieva, P. Andre, R. T. Baker, D. McLean, S. Brown, A. Cuschieri

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    6 Citations (Scopus)


    Thiel-embalmed human cadaveric specimens are used widely for biomedical scientific investigation. This Letter reports electrical impedance measurements of Thiel-embalming solutions from 1 Hz to 32 MHz. Compared with other solutions studied, Thiel solution has the lowest impedance throughout the test spectrum. The electrical conductivity of a Thiel-embalmed liver sample exhibited a relatively flat frequency response from 100 to 500 kHz, which is the frequency range used for electro-surgery and radiofrequency tumour ablation (RFA). It measured 5 Sm-1 compared with 0.22 Sm-1 obtained from ex-vivo fresh pig liver. Using finite element modelling and experimental evaluation, the ablation zone obtained from the Thiel-embalmed liver sample was extremely small due to its much higher conductivity. Hence, it is concluded that Thiel-embalmed tissue cannot be used as a reliable model for RFA evaluation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1125-1127
    Number of pages3
    JournalElectronics Letters
    Issue number16
    Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2014


    • Electrical conductivity
    • physiological model
    • thiel method


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