Thermal ablation, using radiofrequency, microwave, and laser sources, is a common treatment for hepatic tumors. Sensors allow monitoring, at the point of treatment, the evolution of thermal ablation procedures. We present optical fiber sensors that allow advanced capabilities for recording the biophysical phenomena occurring in the tissue in real time. Distributed or quasi-distributed thermal sensors allow recording temperature with spatial resolution ranging from 0.1 mm to 5 mm. In addition, a thermally insensitive pressure sensor allows recording pressure rise, supporting advanced treatment of encapsulated tumors. Our investigation is focused on two case studies: (1) radiofrequency ablation of hepatic tissue, performed on a phantom with a stem-shaped applicator; (2) laser ablation of a liver phantom, performed with a fiber laser. The main measurement results are discussed, comparing the technologies used for the investigation, and drawing the potential for using optical fiber sensors for “smart”-ablation.
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