This paper reviews promising medical treatments which apply thermal energy to living tissues for increasing or decreasing their temperatures to therapeutic levels. The treatments are classified into low-temperature treatments (hyperthermia. cryoablation or thermal therapy, ranging from minutes to hours) and high-temperature treatments (thermal ablation treatments, ranging from seconds to minutes). Heating in biothermal systems involves three primary heat transport modes: thermal conduction, convection and radiation. The complex shapes of living vasculatures and organs make heating the target volume to a therapeutic temperature difficult. Thermal models used to describe biothermal systems are presented. The pennes bioheat transfer equation is widely used to deal with temperature or heat associated with humans or other living creatures. Other models that describe the impact of thermally significant blood vessels (or vascular system) and blood perfusion during treatment are also introduced. Healing methods that deposit thermal energy in a transport medium (e.g., solid tumor, tissues, liquid) are highlighted. The combination of thermal therapies with other treatment modalities (such as drug treatment) is discussed.
Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering=中華醫學工程學刊 32(1), pp.1-11