Dielectric characterization of ex vivo ovine and human adrenal glands for microwave thermal ablation applications

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Historically, adrenal glands diseases causing hypertension, such as Primary Aldosteronism (PA), have been treated through pharmacotherapy or surgical resection. Given the shortcomings of the available treatment options, the interest in alternative and less invasive treatment modalities such as microwave ablation (MWA), has increased. In order to develop and optimize this novel electromagnetic-based therapy, an accurate knowledge of the dielectric properties of human adrenal glands, as well as preclinical animal models, is crucial. In particular, ovine models represent a feasible animal model to test the safety and performances of MWA. In this study, the dielectric properties of ovine adrenal glands and of normal and diseased human adrenal glands are characterized ex vivo in the microwave frequency range. The dielectric properties of the two functional tissues (cortex and medulla) composing ovine adrenal glands are measured using the open-ended coaxial probe technique and represented with a two pole Cole-Cole model in the frequency range from 0.5 GHz to 8 GHz. This paper presents the first dielectric data of normal and diseased human adrenal tissues, including a functioning adenoma responsible for PA and it compares the human data with data from the animal model.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9325510
Pages (from-to)1-9
JournalIEEE Journal of Electromagnetics, RF and Microwaves in Medicine and Biology
Issue number00
Early online date15 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Jan 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding agency:

10.13039/100010665-H2020 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions

10.13039/100010663-H2020 European Research Council

10.13039/501100001602-Science Foundation Ireland

10.13039/501100001596-Irish Research Council for Science Engineering and Technology


  • Cole-Cole model
  • Dielectrics
  • Diseases
  • Glands
  • Microwave theory and techniques
  • Probes
  • Temperature measurement
  • Uncertainty
  • adrenal gland
  • dielectric properties
  • microwave thermal ablation
  • open-ended coaxial probe

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Instrumentation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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