Heat Transfer Modeling in Bone Tumour Hyperthermia Induced by Hydroxyapatite Magnetic Thermo-Seeds

Fabio Fanari1, *, Lorena Mariani2, Francesco Desogus1
1 Department of Mechanical, Chemical and Material Engineering, University of Cagliari, Cagliari 09123, Italy
2 Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Cagliari, Cagliari 09123, Italy

© 2020 Fanari et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at Department of Mechanical, Chemical and Material Engineering, University of Cagliari, Cagliari 09123, Italy; E-mail:



Hyperthermia is an adjuvant oncologic thermal therapy. In the case of deep-seated bone cancers, the interstitial hyperthermia treatment can be performed using thermo-seeds, implanted biomaterial components that are able to convert external electromagnetic power into thermal one. Several magnetic biomaterials have been synthesized for thermal treatments of cancer. However, less attention has been paid to the modeling description of the therapy, especially when the bio-heat transfer process is coupled to the electromagnetic heating.


In this work, a comparison between the available analytical and numerical models is presented.


A non-linear multiphysics model is used to study and describe the performance of cylindrical magnetic hydroxyapatite thermo-seeds to treat residual cancer cells of bone tumours.


The thermal dynamics and treatment outcome are carefully evaluated. Under the exposure of a magnetic field of 30 mT, working at 300 kHz, it was found that magnetic hydroxyapatite implants with a size of 10 mm × 10 mm could increase the temperature above 42 °C for 60 min.


The proposed model overcomes the limitations of the available theoretical frameworks, and the results reveal the relevancy of the implant geometry to the effectiveness of the hyperthermia treatment.

Keywords: Cancer treatment, Heat transfer, Hyperthermia, Implant, magnetic properties, Non-linear multiphysics model, Thermo-seeds, Tumour.