Optical signatures of radiofrequency ablation in biological tissues

Pranav Lanka, Kalloor Joseph Francis, Hindrik Kruit, Andrea Farina*, Rinaldo Cubeddu, Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar, Srirang Manohar, Antonio Pifferi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)
47 Downloads (Pure)


Accurate monitoring of treatment is crucial in minimally-invasive radiofrequency ablation in oncology and cardiovascular disease. We investigated alterations in optical properties of ex-vivo bovine tissues of the liver, heart, muscle, and brain, undergoing the treatment. Time-domain diffuse optical spectroscopy was used, which enabled us to disentangle and quantify absorption and reduced scattering spectra. In addition to the well-known global (1) decrease in absorption, and (2) increase in reduced scattering, we uncovered new features based on sensitive detection of spectral changes. These absorption spectrum features are: (3) emergence of a peak around 840 nm, (4) redshift of the 760 nm deoxyhemoglobin peak, and (5) blueshift of the 970 nm water peak. Treatment temperatures above 100 °C led to (6) increased absorption at shorter wavelengths, and (7) further decrease in reduced scattering. This optical behavior provides new insights into tissue response to thermal treatment and sets the stage for optical monitoring of radiofrequency ablation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number6579
JournalScientific reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2021


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