This paper explores energy dissipation in ex vivo liver tissue during radiofrequency current excitation with application in electrosurgery. Tissue surface temperature for monopolar electrode configuration is measured using infrared thermometry. The experimental results are fitted to a finite-element model for transient heat transfer taking into account energy storage and conduction in order to extract information about “apparent” specific heat, which encompasses storage and phase change. The average apparent specific heat determined for low temperatures is in agreement with published data. However, at temperatures approaching the boiling point of water, apparent specific heat increases by a factor of five, indicating that vaporization plays an important role in the energy dissipation through latent heat loss.
IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, 64(6), 1211-1217 (2017)