Localized impedance measurements at the needle tip identifying the present tissue type could aid clinicians in needle procedures. To assess the sensitivity field of a hollow, bipolar needle electrode, a 3D finite element approach using COMSOL Multiphysics was chosen. The simulated bipolar needle electrode consists of two hypodermic needles (17 G and 23 G) with an insulating layer of polytetrafluoro-ethylene (PTFE) in between. Impedance values were recorded while steadily increasing the insertion depth of the needle electrode in a layered tissue structure of skin (dermis), fat, and blood. Simulation results reveal a highly local sensitivity volume around the needle tip that can be approximated by half a tri-axial ellipsoid with elliptic radii of 0.735 mm, 2.886 mm, and 1.774 mm. A comparison with simulated and measured impedance values shows great correspondence.
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