Determination of temperature distribution in tissue for interstitial cancer photothermal therapy

Shaojie Liu, Austin Doughty, Connor West, Zhilie Tang, Feifan Zhou, Wei R. Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background: Temperature increase in tumour tissue during photothermal therapy (PTT) is a significant factor in determining the outcomes of the treatment. Therefore, controlling and optimising temperature distribution in target tissue is crucial for PTT. In this study, we developed a unique ex vivo device to study the temperature distribution during PTT to be used as a guide for the desired photothermal effects for cancer treatment. Methods: Bovine liver tissue buried inside agarose gel served as a phantom tumour surrounded by normal tissue. A thermostatic incubator was used to simulate tissue environment in live animals. The temperature distributions were measured by thermocouples with needle probes at different locations inside the target tissue, during laser irradiation using an 805-nm laser. Results: The results obtained using the ex vivo device were verified by comparing the tissue temperature directly measured in animal tumours irradiated under the same conditions. With this model, the spatial distribution of temperature in target tissue can be monitored in real time. A two-dimensional temperature distribution in target tissue allows us to establish the correlations among laser parameters, temperature distribution and tumour size. In addition, the optimal temperature range for tumour destruction and immunological stimulation was determined using metastatic rat mammary tumour model. Conclusion: The device and method developed in this study can provide guidance for choosing the appropriate treatment parameters for optimal photothermal effects, particularly when combined with immunotherapy, for cancer treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)756-763
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 18 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • cancer treatment
  • photothermal effects
  • Photothermal therapy
  • temperature distribution


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