Effects of dielectric permittivities on skin heating due to millimeter wave exposure
- Akio Kanezaki^{1, 2},
- Akimasa Hirata^{2, 3}Email author,
- Soichi Watanabe^{2} and
- Hiroshi Shirai^{1}
https://doi.org/10.1186/1475-925X-8-20
© Kanezaki et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2009
Received: 28 April 2009
Accepted: 23 September 2009
Published: 23 September 2009
Abstract
Background
Because the possibility of millimeter wave (MMW) exposure has increased, public concern about the health issues due to electromagnetic radiation has also increased. While many studies have been conducted for MMW exposure, the effect of dielectric permittivities on skin heating in multilayer/heterogeneous human-body models have not been adequately investigated. This is partly due to the fact that a detailed investigation of skin heating in a multilayer model by computational methods is difficult since many parameters are involved. In the present study, therefore, theoretical analyses were conducted to investigate the relationship between dielectric permittivities and MMW-induced skin heating in a one-dimensional three-layer model (skin, fat, and muscle).
Methods
Approximate expressions were derived for the temperature elevation and temperature difference in the skin due to MMW exposure from analytical solutions for the temperature distribution. First, the power absorption distribution was approximated from the analytical solution for a one-layer model (skin only). Then, the analytical expression of the temperature in the three-layer model was simplified on the basis of the proposal in our previous study. By examining the approximate expressions, the dominant term influencing skin heating was clarified to identify the effects of the dielectric permittivities. Finally, the effects of dielectric permittivities were clarified by applying partial differentiation to the derived dominant term.
Results
Skin heating can be characterized by the parameters associated with the dielectric permittivities, independently of morphological and thermal parameters. With the derived expressions, it was first clarified that skin heating correlates with the total power absorbed in the skin rather than the specific absorption rate (SAR) at the skin surface or the incident power density. Using Debye-type expression we next investigated the effect of frequency dispersion on the complex relative permittivity of tissue. The parametric study on the total power absorbed in the skin showed that skin heating increases as the static permittivity and static conductivity decrease. In addition, the maximum temperature elevation on the body surface was approximately 1.6 times that of the minimum case. This difference is smaller than the difference caused by the thermal and morphological parameters reported in our previous study.
Conclusion
This paper analytically clarified the effects of dielectric permittivities on the thermally steady state temperature elevation and the temperature difference in the skin of a one-dimensional three-layer model due to MMW exposure.
Keywords
Background
Millimeter waves (MMW: 30-300 GHz) have become one of the attractive communication tools for short-range and high-capacity transmission due to the manufacturing technology advancement of electronic devices. As MMW usage expands, public concern over human exposure rises, and so it has become important to evaluate human safety regarding MMWs. Most MMW power is absorbed near the surface of the human body, leading to a localized temperature elevation near the surface. There have been a few studies on the relationship between the warm sensation and temperature elevation due to MMW exposure. Three general hypotheses of an adequate stimulus for the warm sensation exist, as summarized by Riu et al. [1]: (1) to reach the threshold, the stimulus must produce a fixed temperature elevation in the vicinity of receptors located 150-200 μm below the skin surface [2], (2) a stimulus reaches the threshold when it establishes a fixed temperature difference between two layers located at a depth of approximately 200 and 1,000 μm [3], and (3) a stimulus produces a threshold sensation when the temperature elevation at the receptor layer reaches a level that varies with the concurrent level of adaptation [4]. In addition, the rate of temperature elevation could be another factor. However, the determinative factor of warm sensations is unclear. Therefore, a detailed investigation of the temperature elevation and temperature difference near the body surface is required.
Temperature elevation in human tissues due to electromagnetic wave exposure may be estimated from a bioheat equation (BHE) [5, 6]. On the basis of this equation, the mechanism of warm sensation due to microwave exposure has been discussed by Riu et al. [1] and Foster et al. [7]. They indicated that the body surface temperature elevation in a one-layer model increases with the frequency of the electromagnetic wave. In the MMW region, computational and experimental work has been conducted by Alekseev et al. [8–11]. In [8], they proposed a temperature estimation method by solving a conventional BHE as well as a hybrid bioheat equation (HBHE). HBHE combines the conventional BHE and a scalar effective thermal conductivity equation. Comparing the MMW-induced temperature elevation in the skin with the measured one, the effectiveness of HBHE was shown for low and high perfusion rates. In [11], the temperature elevation in a one-dimensional four-layer model was investigated with HBHE.
In our previous study [12], the effect of thermal parameters on the temperature elevation in a three-layer model (skin, fat, muscle) due to MMW exposure was investigated by deriving the analytical solution and its approximation. The main findings in that study were as follows: (1) thermal analysis for a multilayer structure is required even in the MMW region because the temperature elevations for the three-layer model are 1.3-2.8 times larger than those for a one-layer (skin) model and (2) the temperature elevation on the body surface decreases monotonically with the increase of the heat transfer coefficient, terms associated with the blood perfusion, and thermal conductivity.
There have been a few studies on the dielectric permittivities in the MMW region. The variation of the dielectric permittivities of biological tissues [9, 13, 14] can reach 35% in the MMW region. However, the effect of the dielectric permittivities on tissue heating in the multilayer model has not been adequately investigated. Moreover, the effect cannot be properly evaluated by our previous approximation [12] because those expressions were derived for the temperature elevation at the body surface only, and the parameters associated with the dielectric permittivities are not independent of the thermal and morphological parameters". For these reasons, additional investigations are required to characterize the dependence of MMW-induced skin heating on the dielectric permittivities.
In the present study, theoretical analyses were conducted for the thermal steady state temperature elevation in order to investigate the relationship between the dielectric permittivities and skin heating in a three-layer model. Continuous MMW was assumed to be incident normal to the body surface as a typical worst-case scenario.
Methods
Analytical model and approximation for body surface temperature elevation
Note that Z_{0} is the free-space wave impedance [Ω], p is the incident power density [W/m^{2}], α_{ n }is the attenuation constant of the n-th layer [m^{-1}], β_{ n }is the phase constant of the n-th layer [rad/m], T_{ En }is the transmission coefficient from layer n- 1 to n, and R_{ En }is the reflection coefficient from layer n+1 to n.
and h is the heat transfer coefficient [W/m^{2} °C], Z_{ n }is the wave impedance [Ω], ε_{r 1}is the relative permittivity in the skin tissue, and ε_{0} is the permittivity in the vacuum [F/m].
Approximate expressions for temperature distributions in the skin tissue
where T_{1}(0)_{B} is the body surface temperature [°C] before exposure and T_{ Air }is the air temperature [°C].
Thermal, morphological, and electrical parameters
Thermal constants and tissue thicknesses in the analytical model ("max"-"typical"-"min").
h(surface) | b _{ n } | κ _{ n } | z_{n+1}- z_{ n }[mm] | |
---|---|---|---|---|
skin(n = 1) | 1-10-15 | 6800-9100-9100 | 0.26-0.42-0.50 | 0.7-1.0-1.3 |
fat (n = 2) | - | 800-1700-2100 | 0.20-0.25-0.27 | 6.3-3.5-0.7 |
Muscle (n = 3) | - | 1300-2700-3500 | 0.43-0.50-0.55 | 53.0-55.5-58.0 |
Results and Discussion
Approximate expressions of skin heating
Consequently, the temperature elevation Δ _{1} (z_{s}) and the temperature difference Diff. (Δz_{s}) at the location where the warm sensation occurs, correlates only with the total absorption power in the skin. In other words, it is possible to evaluate the effect of the dielectric permittivities on skin heating by the total absorption power in the skin layer per unit area rather than the incident power density or SAR values per unit area at the body surface. Note that the total absorption power per unit area in the skin corresponds to the total energy absorbed per unit area in the skin since we consider the temperature elevation in the thermal steady state.
It is worth comparing our finding in MMW with the corresponding results in microwave frequencies. For frequencies up to 3 GHz, the peak 10 g or mass-averaged SAR is used as a metric in the IEEE standards [24]. One of the rationales for this is the correlation between the 10-g averaged SAR and local temperature elevation. However, such an indicator may be inappropriate for the MMW region, because of the small penetration depth. Our analytical formula shows that the temperature elevation in skin can be estimated using the total power absorbed in the skin, instead of the mass-averaged SAR used for microwaves.
Effects of electrical parameters on skin heating
since 1 < (ωτ)^{2} for the MMW region [9–11]. Accordingly, ε' and ε" decrease monotonically. As seen in equation (9), the complex relative permittivity ε_{ r }* is included in the denominator of T_{E 10}. Thus, skin heating increases as relaxation time τ increases.
Both the temperature elevation Δ _{1} (z_{ s }) (15) and the temperature difference Diff. (Δz_{ s }) (16) are found to increase monotonically with the frequency for the following reasons. The complex relative permittivity in the denominator of T_{E 10}decreases monotonically with the increase in frequency (see Fig. 2). Then, the total absorption power increases with the frequency, which is attributed to the increase in transmission coefficient TE_{10}. From Fig. 6(a), it is also confirmed that the body surface temperature elevations increase monotonically with the frequency.
The above results show that the maximum temperature elevation on the body surface is approximately 1.6 times the minimum value, although the body surface temperature elevation for thermal constants and tissue thicknesses varies approximately by 3 times [12]. Therefore, the effects of the dielectric permittivities on skin heating are less than those of the thermal constants and tissue thicknesses.
Conclusion
This present study investigated the effects of dielectric permittivities on the temperature elevation and temperature difference in the thermal steady state in the skin layer of a one-dimensional three-layer model (skin, fat, muscle) for MMW exposure. Approximate expressions were derived around the location near the warm sensation receptors from the analytical solution for BHE. The derived expressions exhibit clearly that the dielectric permittivity is independent from morphological and thermal parameters. The temperature distributions in the skin tissue by our approximate expressions agree well with those derived from the analytical solution, and the relative errors are at most 15%.
Using our approximate expressions, it is shown that local skin heating can be correlated with total absorption power in the skin per unit area rather than that of the incident power density or that of SAR values per unit area at the body surface. Note that the total absorption power per unit area in the skin corresponds to the total energy absorbed per unit area in the skin since we consider the temperature elevation in the thermal steady state. Therefore, the effects of the dielectric permittivities on skin heating can be evaluated by the total absorption power in the skin tissue only. This measure is similar to the mass-averaged SAR used as a metric in the safety guidelines for microwaves [24]. The primary difference is attributed to the penetration depth of electromagnetic waves, resulting in a different SAR averaging region.
Debye-type approximation was introduced to consider the nature of the frequency dispersion of the tissue's dielectric permittivities, and the parametric study was conducted to see the effect of the dielectric permittivities on skin heating. The effects of the dielectric permittivities on skin heating are concluded to be less than those due to the thermal constants and tissue thicknesses.
Future work is to discuss the variability of MMW thermal sensation based on the finding in the present study.
Declarations
Acknowledgements
This research was partially supported by the Strategic Information and Communication R&D Promotion Programme (SCOPE), Scientific Research Grant-In-Aid (No. 20360176) from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and 2008 Chuo University Grant for Special Research.
Authors’ Affiliations
References
- Riu PJ, Foster KR, Blick DW, Adair ER: A thermal model for human thresholds of microwave-evoked warmth sensations. Bioelectromagnetics 1997, 18: 578–583. 10.1002/(SICI)1521-186X(1997)18:8<578::AID-BEM6>3.0.CO;2-#View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hendler E, Hardy JD: Infrared and microwave effects on skin heating and temperature sensation. IRE Trans Med Electron 1960, 7: 143–152. 10.1109/IRET-ME.1960.5008037View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hendler E, Hardy JD, Murgatroyd D: Skin heating and temperature sensation produced by infrared and microwave irradiation. In Temperature: Its Measurement and Control in Science and Industry. Edited by: Herzfeld CM. New York: Reinhold; 1963:211.Google Scholar
- Eijkman ED, Vendrik AJH: Dynamic behavior of the warmth sense organ. J Exp Psychol 1961, 62: 403–408. 10.1037/h0041607View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Pennes HH: Analysis of tissue and arterial blood temperature in resting forearm. J Appl Physiol 1948, 1: 93–122.Google Scholar
- Hoque M, Gandhi OP: Temperature distributions in the human leg for VLF-VHF exposures at the ANSI recommended safety levels. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 1988, 35: 442–449. 10.1109/10.2114View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Foster KR, Lozano-Nieto A, Riu PJ, Appendix by Ely TS: Heating of tissue by microwaves: A model analysis. Bioelectromagnetics 1998, 19: 420–428. 10.1002/(SICI)1521-186X(1998)19:7<420::AID-BEM3>3.0.CO;2-3View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Alekseeve SI, Radzievsky AA, Szabo I, Ziskin MC: Local heating of human skin by millimeter waves: Effect of blood flow. Bioelectromagnet 2005, 26: 489–501. 10.1002/bem.20118View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Alekseev SI, Ziskin MC: Human skin permittivity determined by millimeter wave reflection measurements. Bioelectromagnetics 2007, 28: 331–339. 10.1002/bem.20308View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Alekseev SI, Radzievsky AA, Logani MK, Ziskin MC: Millimeter wave dosimetry of human skin. Bioelectromagnetics 2008, 29: 65–70. 10.1002/bem.20363View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Alekseev SI, Ziskin MC: Influence of blood flow and millimeter wave exposure on skin temperature in different thermal models. Bioelectromagnet 2009, 30: 52–58. 10.1002/bem.20444View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Kanezaki A, Watanabe S, Hirata A, Shirai H: Theoretical analysis for temperature elevation of human body due to millimeter wave exposure. Proc. Cairo Int'l Biomed Eng Conf 2008, SB-62.Google Scholar
- Gabriel S, Lau RW, Gabriel C: The dielectric properties of biological tissues: III. Parametric models for the dielectric spectrum of tissues. Phys Med Biol 1996, 41: 2271–2293. 10.1088/0031-9155/41/11/003View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Gandhi OP, Riazi A: Absorption of millimeter waves by human beings and its biological implications. IEEE Trans Microwave Theory Tech 1986, 34: 228–235. 10.1109/TMTT.1986.1133316View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Fiala D, Lomas KJ, Stohrer M: A computer model of human thermoregulation for a wide range of environmental conditions: the passive system. J Appl Physiol 1999, 87: 1957–1972.Google Scholar
- Bard P, ed: Medical physiology. St Louis: Mosby; 1961.Google Scholar
- Duck FA: Physical properties of tissue. NewYork: Academic; 1990.Google Scholar
- ESHO Task Group Committee: Treatment Planning and Modelling in Hyperthermia, Task Group Report of the European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology. Rome: Tor Vergata; 1992.Google Scholar
- Hardy J, Gagge A, Stolwijh J, eds: Physiological and behavioral temperature regulation. NewYork: Thomas; 1970:281–301.Google Scholar
- ICRP: Report of the task group on reference man. In ICRP Publication 23. New York: ICRP; 1974.Google Scholar
- National Institute for Longevity Sciences Longitudinal Study of Aging (NILS-LSA): Monograph-The Third Wave Chap. XI Anthropometry and Body Composition. 2002. 10.1088/0143-0815/10/3/001Google Scholar
- Williams LR, Leggett RW: Reference values for resting blood flow to organs of man. Clinical Phys Physiol Meas 1989, 10: 187–217. 10.1109/TBME.2006.877798View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- Hirata A, Fujiwara O, Shiozawa T: Correlation between peak spatial-average SAR and temperature increase due to antennas attached to human trunk. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 2006, 53: 1658–1664. 10.1109/TBME.2006.877798View ArticleGoogle Scholar
- IEEE C95–1: IEEE standard for safety levels with respect to human exposure to radio frequency electromagnetic fields, 3 kHz to 300 GHz. 2005.Google Scholar
Copyright
This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.