The theoretical basis, practical design considerations, and prototype testing of a perfused model suitable for simulation studies of microwave heated tissue are presented. A parallel tube heat exchanger configuration is used to simulate the internal convection effects of blood flow. The global thermal response of the phantom, on a scale of several tube spacings, is shown theoretically to be nearly identical to that predicted by Pennes’ bioheat equation, which is known to give a reasonable representation of tissue under many conditions. A parametric study is provided for the relationships between the tube size, spacing and material properties and the simulated perfusion rate. A prototype with a physiologically reasonable perfusion rate was tested using a typical hyperthermia applicator. The measured thermal response of the phantom compares favorably with the numerical solution of the bioheat equation under the same irradiation conditions. This similarity sheds light on the unexpected success of the bioheat equation for modeling the thermal response of real tissue.

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