Probe modelling and experimentation for advancing atrial fibrillation treatment using irreversible electroporation therapy

Benchakroun, Hamza
Atrial fibrillation (AF) poses a significant global health challenge, with the left atrial appendage (LAA) identified as a frequent source. Irreversible electroporation (IRE) has emerged as a promising non-thermal ablation technique for AF treatment. This research focuses on understanding LAA conductivity, crucial for estimating IRE outcomes through experimental work and numerical simulations. The study investigates the impact of confounding factors on LAA conductivity, addressing probe design and contact force monitoring's significance. A tetrapolar probe and protocol are developed, characterizing LAA conductivity below 100 kHz and providing the first in literature LAA conductivity of ex-vivo bovine LAA from 0.1 Hz to 100 kHz. The findings underscore the importance of tailored probe designs for accurate and repeatable conductivity measurements. Additionally, the research proposes a benchtop LAA model with living myocardial cells to assess IRE outcomes through pre- and post-conductivity measurements. Results indicate the potential use of conductivity as a validation method for IRE treatment effectiveness. This thesis serves as a valuable guide for future research into IRE as an AF treatment, emphasising the application of conductivity measurements for validation purposes. The insights gained contribute to advancing the understanding of AF treatment strategies and the role of conductivity in assessing the success of innovative interventions.
NUI Galway
Publisher DOI
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Ireland