Hydrogels as a water bolus during hyperthermia treatment
Journal article, 2019

The feasibility of using hydrogels as a water bolus during hyperthermia treatment was assessed. Three types of gels, high methoxyl (HM) pectin/alginate, xanthan/locust bean gum (LBG) and xanthan/LBG/agarose were evaluated based on their dielectric, rheological and mechanical properties. The most suitable, xanthan/LBG/agarose gel was further used as a water bolus in a hyperthermia array applicator. The gels composed of polysaccharides carrying low charge displayed dielectric properties close to those of water, while the dielectric properties of HM pectin/alginate gel was deemed unsuitable for the current application. The mechanical examination shows that the xanthan/LBG gel has a non-brittle behaviour at room temperature, in contrast to the agarose gel. The moduli of the xanthan/LBG gel weaken however considerably between the temperature range of 40 °C and 50 °C, reducing its potential to be used as water bolus. The ternary system of xanthan/LBG/agarose had advantageous behaviour as it was dominated by the thermal hysteresis typical of agarose upon temperature increase, but governed by the typical non-brittle behaviour of the xanthan/LBG at low temperatures. The final evaluation within the hyperthermia applicator showed excellent signal transmission from the antennas. The agarose/xanthan/LBG gel reduced the scattering of electromagnetic waves, enabled a tight closure between the body and the antennas, and offered a less bulky solution than the currently used water-filled plastic bags. The results presented here open up a new application area for hydrogels in improving heat delivery during hyperthermia treatment and other near-field microwave applications.


mechanical properties

dielectrical properties


Hana Dobsicek Trefna

Chalmers, Electrical Engineering, Signal Processing and Biomedical Engineering

Anna Ström

SuMo Biomaterials

Chalmers, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Applied Chemistry

Physics in medicine and biology

13616560 (eISSN)

Vol. 64 11 115025

Subject Categories

Polymer Chemistry

Bio Materials

Food Engineering





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