Understanding basic science and technical aspects is essential for scientists and engineers to develop and enhance ablative modalities, and for clinicians to effectively apply therapeutic ablative techniques. An overview of ablative modalities, anatomical locations, and indications for which ablations are performed is presented. Specifically, basic concepts, parameter selection, and underlying biophysics of tissue injury of five currently used therapeutic ablative modalities are reviewed: radiofrequency ablation (RFA), cryoablation (CRA), microwave ablation (MWA), high-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU), and chemical ablation (CHA) (ablative agents: acetic acid, ethanol, hypertonic sodium chloride, and urea). Each ablative modality could be refined for expanding applications, either independently or in combination, for future therapeutic use.

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