Microct image-generated tumour geometry and sar distribution for tumour temperature elevation simulations in magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia

Alexander Lebrun, Navid Manuchehrabadi, Anilchandra Attaluri, Frank Wang, Ronghui Ma, Liang Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective of this study was to develop and test computer algorithms to export micro computed tomography (microCT) images and to generate tumour geometry and specific absorption rate (SAR) distribution for heat transfer simulation in magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia. Methods: Computer algorithms were written to analyse and export microCT images of 3D tumours containing magnetic nanoparticles. MATLAB® and ProE® programs were used to generate a prototype of the tumour geometry. The enhancements in the microCT pixel index number due to presence of nanoparticles in the tumours were first converted into corresponding SAR values. The SAR data were then averaged over three-dimensional clusters of pixels using the SAS® program. This greatly decreased the size of the SAR file, while in the meantime it ensured that the amount of total energy deposited in the tumour was conserved. Both the tumour geometry and the SAR file were then imported into the COMSOL® software package to simulate temperature elevations in the tumour and their surrounding tissue region during magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia. Results: A linear relationship was obtained to relate individual pixel index numbers in the microCT images to the SAR values under a specific magnetic field. The generated prototype of the tumour geometry based on only 30 slices of microCT images resembled the original tumour shape and size. The tumour geometry and the simplified SAR data set were successfully accepted by the COMSOL software for heat transfer simulation. Up to 20C temperature elevations from its baseline temperature were found inside the tumours, implying possible thermal damage to the tumour during magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)730-738
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hyperthermia
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported in part by an NSF research grant CBET-1335958 and by the GAANN Scholarship Program (DoE P200A100124) at UMBC. The research was performed in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the PhD degree from UMBC by Alexander LeBrun. The authors alone are responsible for the content and writing of the paper.


  • Bioheat transfer
  • Image-based simulation
  • Magnetic nanoparticle hyperthermia
  • MicroCT


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