Cryosurgery is one of the surgical treatments using a frozen phenomenon in biological tissue. In order to reduce the invasiveness of cryosurgery, the miniaturization of cryoprobe, which is a cooling device for cryosurgery, has been required. The authors have developed a ultrafine cryoprobe for realizing low-invasive cryosurgery by the local freezing. The objective of this study is to evaluate the small-scale cryosurgery using the ultrafine cryoprobe experimentally and numerically.
The ultrafine cryoprobe has a double-tube structure and consists of two stainless microtube. The outer diameter of ultrafine cryoprobe was 550 μm. The inner tube, which has 70 μm in inner diameter, depressurizes the high-pressure liquidized refrigerant. Depressurized refrigerant changes its state to two-phase and passes through the gap between outer and inner tube. The alternative Freon of HFC-23 was used as a refrigerant, which has the boiling point of −82°C at 0.1 MPa.
The cooling performance of this ultrafine cryoprobe was tested by the freezing experiment of the gelated water kept at 37°C. The gelated water at 37°C is a substitute of the biological tissue. As a result of the cooling in 1 minute, the surface temperature of the ultrafine cryoprobe was reached at −35°C and the radius of frozen region was 2 mm.
In order to evaluate the temperature distribution in the frozen region, the numerical simulation was conducted. The two-dimensional axisymmetric bioheat transfer equation with phase change was solved. By using the result from the numerical simulation, the temperature distribution in the frozen region and expected necrosis area is discussed.