Biomed Eng Online. 2009 Sep 23 ;8:20. Epub 2009 Sep 23. PMID: 19775447
Effects of dielectric permittivities on skin heating due to millimeter wave exposure.
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.