The aim of this study was to analyze five factors that are responsible for the ablation volume and maximum temperature during the procedure of irreversible electroporation (IRE). The five factors used in this study were the pulse strength (U), the electrode diameter (B), the distance between the electrode and the center (D), the electrode length (L), and the number of electrodes (N). A validated finite element model (FEM) of IRE was built to collect the data of the ablation volume and maximum temperature generated in a liver tissue. Twenty-five experiments were performed, in which the ablation volume and maximum temperature were taken as response variables. The five factors with ranges were analyzed to investigate their impacts on the ablation volume and maximum temperature, respectively, using analysis of variance. Response surface method (RSM) was used to optimize the five factors for the maximum ablation volume without thermal damage (the maximum temperature 50 °C for 90 s). U and L were found with significant impacts on the ablation volume (P < 0.001, and P = 0.009, respectively) while the same conclusion was not found for B, D and N (P = 0.886, P = 0.075 and P = 0.279, respectively). Furthermore, U, D, and N had the significant impacts on the maximum temperature with P < 0.001, P < 0.001, and P = 0.003, respectively, while same conclusion was not found for B and L (P = 0.720 and P = 0.051, respectively). The maximum ablation volume of 2952.9960 mm3 without thermal damage can be obtained by using the following set of factors: U = 2362.2384 V, B = 1.4889 mm, D = 7 mm, L = 4.5659 mm, and N = 3. The study concludes that both B and N have insignificant impacts (P = 0.886, and P = 0.279, respectively) on the ablation volume; U has the most significant impact (P < 0.001) on the ablation volume; electrode configuration and pulse strength in IRE can be optimized for the maximum ablation volume without thermal damage using RSM.

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