CardioVascular and Interventional Radiology

, Volume 34, Issue 4, pp 833–838 | Cite as

Silicon Carbide as a Heat-enhancing Agent in Microwave Ablation: In Vitro Experiments

  • P. IsfortEmail author
  • T. Penzkofer
  • E. Pfaff
  • P. Bruners
  • R. W. Günther
  • T. Schmitz-Rode
  • A. H. Mahnken
Laboratory Investigation



Silicon carbide (SiC) is an inert compound material with excellent microwave absorption and heat-conducting properties. The aim of our study was to investigate the heat-enhancing effects of SiC in microwave ablation in an in vitro setting.

Materials and Methods

Different concentrations of SiC powder were mixed with 2% gelatin, producing a 20-ml mixture that was then heated with a clinical microwave ablation system (5 min/45 W). Temperature was measured continuously fiberoptically. Additional heating properties were assessed for the most heatable concentrations at different energy settings (10, 20, and 30 W). As reference, 2% gelatin without SiC was heated. Statistical evaluation by analysis of variance with post hoc Student–Newman–Keuls testing was performed.


For the different SiC concentrations, maximum temperatures measured were 45.7 ± 1.2°C (0% SiC, control), 50.4 ± 3.6°C (2% SiC), 60.8 ± 1.8°C (10% SiC), 74.9 ± 2.6°C (20% SiC), and 83.4 ± 2.5°C (50% SiC). Differences between all data points were significant (P < 0.05). Maximum temperatures that used 20% SiC were 36.3 ± 2.76°C (10 W), 48.7 ± 4.18°C (20 W), and 50.6 ± 0.68°C (30 W). The use of 50% SiC maximum temperatures resulted in values of 46.2 ± 2.52°C (10 W), 70.1 ± 0.64°C (20 W), and 83.0 ± 4.69°C (30 W). With 20% SiC and 50% SiC mixtures, the 10 W maximum temperatures were significantly lower than at all other power levels, and maximum temperatures with 20 and 30 W were significantly lower when compared with 45 W (P < 0.05).


SiC is a nontoxic, highly effective substance for enhancing microwave-induced heating with a microwave ablation system in vitro. These data suggest its usefulness for enhancement of ablative effects in percutaneous tumor therapy. Further investigations need to be performed to evaluate the ex vivo and in vivo ablation effects and the possible methods for administration of SiC particles.


Interventional oncology Nonvascular interventions Experimental IR Combined treatments Radiofrequency ablation 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. 1.
    Curley SA, Izzo F, Ellis LM et al (2000) Radiofrequency ablation of hepatocellular cancer in 110 patients with cirrhosis. Ann Surg 232:381–391PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Lencioni R, Cioni D, Bartolozzi C (2001) Percutaneous radiofrequency thermal ablation of liver malignancies: techniques, indications, imaging findings, and clinical results. Abdom Imaging 26:345–360PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Mahnken AH, Bruners P, Günther RW (2009) Local ablative therapies in HCC: percutaneous ethanol injection and radiofrequency ablation. Dig Dis 27:148–156PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Simon CJ, Dupuy DE, Mayo-Smith WW (2005) Microwave ablation: principles and applications. Radiographics 25(suppl 1):S69–S83PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Isfort P, Bruners P, Penzkofer T, Gunther RW et al (2010) In vitro experiments on fluid-modulated microwave ablation. Rofo 182:518–524PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kremsner JM, Kappe CO (2006) Silicon carbide passive heating elements in microwave-assisted organic synthesis. J Org Chem 71:4651–4658PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    O’Sullivan DPMJ, S Hampshire, Murtagh MJ (2004) Degradation resistance of silicon carbide diesel particulate filters to diesel fuel ash deposits. J Mater Res 19:2913–2921CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Bruch J, Rehn B, Song W et al (1993) Toxicological investigations on silicon carbide. 2. In vitro cell tests and long term injection tests. Br J Ind Med 50:807–813PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Roberts BA, Strauss CR (2005) Toward rapid, “green”, predictable microwave-assisted synthesis. Acc Chem Res 38:653–661PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Misselt AJ, Edelman TL, Choi JH et al (2009) A hydrophobic gel phantom for study of thermochemical ablation: initial results using a weak acid and weak base. J Vasc Interv Radiol 20:1352–1358PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Bruners P, Hodenius M, Günther RW et al (2007) Fluid-modulated RF ablation: in vitro experiments. Rofo 179:380–386PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Goldberg SN, Ahmed M, Gazelle GS et al (2001) Radio-frequency thermal ablation with NaCl solution injection: effect of electrical conductivity on tissue heating and coagulation—phantom and porcine liver study. Radiology 219:157–165PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Livraghi T, Goldberg SN, Monti F et al (1997) Saline-enhanced radio-frequency tissue ablation in the treatment of liver metastases. Radiology 202:205–210PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Lubienski A, Dux M, Lubienski K et al (2005) Radiofrequency thermal ablation: increase in lesion diameter with continuous acetic acid infusion. Cardiovasc Intervent Radiol 28:789–794PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bai ZYC, Bharti V, Xu HS, Zhanga QM (2000) High-dielectric-constant ceramic-powder polymer composites. Appl Phys Lett 76:3804–3806CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Schwartz M, Weintraub J (2008) Combined transarterial chemoembolization and radiofrequency ablation for hepatocellular carcinoma. Nat Clin Pract Oncol 5:630–631PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Baeraky T (2002) Microwave measurements of the dielectric properties of silicon carbide at high temperature. Egypt J Solids 25:263–273Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC and the Cardiovascular and Interventional Radiological Society of Europe (CIRSE) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Isfort
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • T. Penzkofer
    • 1
    • 2
  • E. Pfaff
    • 3
  • P. Bruners
    • 1
  • R. W. Günther
    • 1
  • T. Schmitz-Rode
    • 2
  • A. H. Mahnken
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic and Interventional RadiologyUniversity HospitalAachenGermany
  2. 2.Department of Applied Medical EngineeringHelmholtz Institute for Biomedical EngineeringAachenGermany
  3. 3.Division of Ceramic ComponentsInstitute for Materials Applications in Mechanical EngineeringAachenGermany

Personalised recommendations