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# Finite Element Numerical Experiments on the Absorption of the EMF

**Radiation in 3D Human Head Models
**

D. Cazacu'", I. Papa

2

), and M.Iardache

3

)

1) Department of Electrical engineering,University of Pitesti, Pitesti, Romania

2) Department of Electronics and Computers, University of Pitesti, Pitesti, Romania

3) Faculty for electrical engineering, Politehnica University, Bucharest,Romania

cazacu_dumitru@yahoo.com

Abstract:lntesive usage of cellular phones has increased the public concern about their possible

health hazards. Experimental as well as numerical approaches has been used in order to evaluate the

biological effects. Most of the papers used the finite diference time domain(FDTD) and the MoM

(method of moments) numerical methods .This paper deals with the computation of the local peak

SAR and absorbed power values using the finite element method. Three spherical models have been

taken into account: homogenous and layered. They were exposed to a dipole antenna operating at

different frequenciesand different distances .The results were compared with those from the literature

and a good agreement was obtained.

1. INTRODUCTION

The number of cellular phones users has increased

dramatically in the last ten years. Meanwhile many

questions about the possible health hazards of using

the PDCs (personal digital cellulars) have appeared

[1]. The problem has been studied for a long time and

certain norms and standards have been introduced by

the international organizations such ICNIRP and IEEE

in order to protect the human body from the RF

exposure. Many 2D and 3D models used by different

authors in order to estimate the SAR distribution in

human head models exposed to the electromagnetic

field radiated by a mobile phone are described in

literature. The solutions can be obtained either by

analytical [4],[13] or by numerical methods. The most

used numerical methods are the finite- difference time

domain method (FDTD), the method of

moments(MoM) [5], [6], [7],[12] and the finite

element method [2], [3],[8],[9].The FEM is more

suitable to complex and non homogenous. This paper

is focused on the 3D application of the finite element

method to analysis of the EM energy absorption in the

human head of the near field radiation of the cellular

phones. Two types of spherical models have been

taken into account: homogenous and layered. They

were exposed to a dipole antenna operating at

different frequencies. The modeling and simulations

were performed using Comsol package, ver.3.4., from

Comsol AB Sweden. The RF module, electromagnetic

waves, harmonic propagation sub mode has been used

[10],[11].Mesh was composed of tetrahedral vector

quadratic elements. In electromagnetics vector

elements (or Nedelec's edge elements) are widely

used [9],[11]. We consider a vector u in a 2D space

and u

1

and u

2

its components. This vector belongs to

the finite element space for the vector element if the

following conditions are fulfilled:

- on each mesh triangle uland U2 are linear functions

of the local coordinates

- on each mesh edge the tangential component of u is

constant.

This means that only three degrees of freedom are

needed to characterize u on each mesh element.

Comsol Multiphysics implements vector elements

in triangular and tetrahedral meshes. The EMF

analysis is performed by solving the electromagnetic

wave equations in time harmonic regime (Helmholtz

PDE equation):

where k

o

is the free space wave number, E is the

complex strength of electric field, £ r is the relative

3. HEAD AND ANTENNA MODELS

electric permittivity and J1r relative magnetic

permeability.

Fig.l 3D spherical model

In order to obtain the finite element solution the

computation domain was bounded with a sphere, large

enough so it doesn't influence the solution.

The geometric and electrical parameters of the

layers for a homogenous and a three layer models are

presented in Table 1 [2]. The homogenous model is a

sphere of brain tissue only.

Local peak SAR Absorbed

values [WIKg] power [mW]

3D MoM FDTD MoM FDTD 3D

FEM [7] [7] [7] [7] FEM

Homo 11.758 11.8 11.31 100 101.9 101.63

genous

mode

3 layer 8.169 8.19 8.54 107.5 106.1 99.85

model

Tabel 2. Local peak SAR and absorbed power values

Simulations were performed using a mesh of about

25000 tetrahedral vector elements. The Spooles direct

solver was used. It works on general systems of the

form Ax == b using the multifrontal method and

direct LV factorization on the sparse matrix A. When

the matrix A is symmetric or Hermitian the solver

uses an LDLT version of the algorithm, which saves

half of the memory. It uses several preordering

algorithms to permute the columns such as it

minimize the fill in [ll].In table 2 values of the local

peak SAR and absorbed power are compared with

those from [7].

4. NUMERICAL RESULTS

Tabell. Parameters of the tissue layers at 1710 MHz

In Fig.2 the SAR distribution for a dipole antenna

is depicted, at 5 mm distance from the head, at 1710

MHz, through a longitudinal plane that passes through

the antenna. Also the electric field norm distribution

in a plane transversal to the midpoint of the antenna is

presented in Fig.3.

In Fig. 4 the variation of the peak SAR values

versus the distance from the dipole antenna to the

head are represented for three operating frequencies,

900 MHz, 1710 MHz and 1800 MHz, starting from 5

mm to 20 mm.

Tissue r[m] p [kg/m

3

] (J [S/m]

£r

Skin 0.1 1100 0.941 38.2

Bone 0.095 1200 0.285 12

Brain 0.090 1050 1.521 51.8

.2

Human head

spherical model

0.2

.........'. . . . . . . . . .. . ~ o ? z 0.2

Spherical ..

Boundary: :

2.1. Homogenous and three layered human head

model

The dependence of the peak SAR values and of the

absorbed power on the human head models,

frequency, and distances between the antennas and the

human head models will be described. Spherical 3D

models of the human head will be considered:

homogenous and three layer. A half wavelength

dipole antenna was used.

While performing the simulations a continuously

operating regime of the PDC was presumed. The

protocol for the GSM transmission system is called

Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA).

It allows that each transmission channel to be used

by 8 phones that operates simultaneously. Therefore

the time averaged power of a mobile phone in this

system, operating in real conditions, to be the eight

part of its nominal power. So for a nominal power of

1W the time averaged output power is 0.125 mW. So

the radiated power considered was 125 mWand the

distance between the human head and the antenna is 5

mm. The frequency considered is 1710 MHz.

In Fig.1 the geometry of the model is presented.

-0.2

0.2

Bone

Fat tissue

Brain

y

Dura

csf

Fig.5 Six layered human head model

22. Six-layers spherical 3D model

The tissues considered for this model are: skin, fat,

bone, dura, cerebra-spinal fluid (csf) and brain.

The model is represented by two eccentric 3-layers

spheres (Fig.5) [2].

In Table 3 includes the geometry, the electric

parameters (the relative permittivity er and the

electric conductivity (J ) and the mass densities for the

tissue layers at 900MHz and 1800 MHz (from the

literature).

200

50

100

150

Max: 225.364

o

Min:-9.745e-17

Mar. 11.758 SARIWIKgJ

Min: 5.696e-3

Fig.2 The SAR distribution

Fig.3 The electric field norm distribution

Tissue Density Conductivity Permittivity

layers [m] [Kg/m

3

] (J [S/m]

£r

900 800 900 1800

[MHz] MHz] [MHz

skin 0.09 1100 0.87 1.18 41.4 38.9

fat 0.0893 920 0.11 0.19 11.3 11

bone 0.0877 1850 0.14 0.28 12.5 11.8

dura 0.0672 1050 0.96 1.32 44.4 42.9

csf 0.0667 1060 2.41 2.92 68.7 67.2

brain 0.0647 1030 0.86 1.27 46.5 43.9

Tabel 3. Parameters of the tissue layers

20 15 10

OL..--------L...---------I...----------J

5

14.---------r----------r---------,

SARversus distance d

'im

,-----------------------r----------- ---------f--- -----------------

fI.2 I I

4 --- -----

MHz

2 --------------------- ----------------------t----------------------

d[mm]

Fig.4 Local peak SAR versus distance d

It can be seen that the SAR decreases faster for the

higher frequencies because the penetration depth is

smaller.

In table 4 the absorbed power in each tissue, for

two frequencies, 900 MHz and 1800 MHz, as a

percentage of the total absorbed power is presented.

The dipole is located at 10 cm from the head.

Tissue 900 [MHz] 1800 [MHz]

absorbed

[13] 3DFEM [13] 3DFEM

power

[%]

skin 9 9.22 9 9.1

fat 3 3.1 3 3.25

bone 30 30.8 48 49.3

dura 2 1.95 2 2.3

csf 12 12.3 10 10.4

brain 43 43.15 28 28.9

Table 4 Tissue absorbed power

The reference data are from [2], [13]. It can be

noticed that, as for three layers head models, the skin

concentrates a great amount of the absorbed electric

power together with the csf layer. The SAR

distribution validates this observation. Also the

shielding effect of the bone layer is emphasized.

5. CONCLUSIONS

In this paper some aspects concerning the finite

element modeling of the interaction between the EMF

radiated by a dipole antenna and certain 3D human

head models are described. Finite element simulations

for three spherical human models were performed:

homogenous, three layers and six layers.

The local SAR peak values and the absorbed

power values were in good agreement, at 1710 MHz,

with results from literature that used other numerical

methods, FDTD and MoM. The absorption qualities

of certain layers were evaluated and compared with

those from the literature. The variation of the SAR

values with the distance from the head was evaluated

and compared for three frequencies.

Future experiments on phantoms will be performed

and the results will be compared with FEM

simulations.

The paper represents only the beginning of a more

complex research using 3D models and more realistic

models such as real 3D geometries imported from

MRI techniques. Future researches will involve also

computation of the heat distribution in the head

models and EMF - heat fields coupled problems.

REFERENCES

[1] Zamfirescu M., Sajin G., Rusu I., Sajin M., Kovacs E.:

"Efecte biologice ale radiatiilor electromagnetice de

radiofrecventa si microunde", Editura Medicala ,

Bucuresti , 2000.

[2] Morega M.,Machedon A."EMF Penetration in

Biological Tissue when Exposed in the Near Field of a

Mobile Phone Antenna", 4th International Symposium

on Advanced Topics in Electrical Engineering, ATEE-

2004, Bucharest, Romania, Nov. 2004, Proc. CD-ROM

ISBN 973-7728-31-9.

[3] Morega M., CNCSIS Research Grant no.469/2003-

2004

[4] Tanzer I. 0., "Numerical Modeling In electro and

magneto encephalography", Ph.D. thesis, Helsinki

University of Technology, Lab. of Biomedical

Engineering 2006.

[5] Ming-Xin Q., Li-Cheng J., Hai Bing Hua W., L.

"Simulation study of detecting conductivity of brain

tissues with magnetic induction based on FDTD".

www.eit.org.uk/.

[6] Koulourikidis S., Nikita K., "Study of the coupling

between human head and cellular phone helical

antennas ",IEEE Trans. on electromagnetic

compatibility,voI.46, No.1 February 2004, pp-62-70.

[7] Koulourikidis S., Nikita K., "Characteristics of power

absorption in human head models exposed to normal

mode helical antennas", the 2

nd

IntI. Workshop on

biological effects of electromagnetic fields, Rhodes,

Greece, 2002.

[8] Cazacu D., Stanescu C., Petrisor A., "On the Comsol

finite element modeling of the absorption in the human

head of the EMF radiated by a mobile phone antenna",

the 2

nd

IntI. Conference on Electronics, Computers and

Artificial Intelligence ECAI 2007, 29

th

- 30

th

June,

ROMANIA.

[9] Hassan, O.A."Near field computation using finite

element method". PhD .Thesis Ottawa-Carlton Institute

for electrical engineering, Dep. of electrical

engineering, Faculty for electrical engineering,

University of Ottawa, Janury 1997.

[10] Collin R.,"Foundations for microwave engineering",

McGraw-Hill, 1992.

[11] Comsol RF User's Guide, ver.3.3, 1994-2006,

© COPYRIGHT 1996-2004by Comsol AB

[12] Khalat S.,Sardari D.,Mirzaee A.,Sadafi H.,"Calculating

SAR in two models of the human head exposed to

mobile phones radiations at 900 and 1800 MHz",

Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium

2006, Cambridge, USA,March 26-29., pp.l04-109.

[13] Moneda,A.P.,Ioannidou,M.P.,Chrissoulidis

D.P.,"Radio wave exposure of the human head:

Analytical study based on a versatile exccentric spheres

model including a brain core and a pair of

eyeballs",IEEETrans.Biomed.Eng.,voI.BME- 5Opp.667-

676,2003.

The frequency considered is 1710 MHz.2 the SAR distribution for a dipole antenna is depicted. operating in real conditions. Therefore the time averaged power of a mobile phone in this system. through a longitudinal plane that passes through the antenna. 900 MHz.1 99.. .3. It works on general systems of the form Ax == b using the multifrontal method and direct LV factorization on the sparse matrix A..1 the geometry of the model is presented.2 . . at 1710 MHz. In Fig. The protocol for the GSM transmission system is called Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA). It uses several preordering algorithms to permute the columns such as it minimize the fill in [ll].. and J1 r relative magnetic Tissue r[m] Skin Bone Brain 0. A half wavelength dipole antenna was used. When the matrix A is symmetric or Hermitian the solver uses an LDL T version of the algorithm. which saves half of the memory.85 mode 3 layer 8. . . So the radiated power considered was 125 mWand the distance between the human head and the antenna is 5 mm.285 1. It allows that each transmission channel to be used by 8 phones that operates simultaneously.. .9 101. HEAD AND ANTENNA MODELS 2.electric permittivity permeability.. Boundary: : Tabel 2. Spherical 3D models of the human head will be considered: homogenous and three layer. ~o?z 0. 0. and distances between the antennas and the human head models will be described. While performing the simulations a continuously operating regime of the PDC was presumed. .095 0. . . Parameters of the tissue layers at 1710 MHz 4.. 1710 MHz and 1800 MHz. large enough so it doesn't influence the solution.1. So for a nominal power of 1W the time averaged output power is 0.1 0. 4 the variation of the peak SAR values versus the distance from the dipole antenna to the head are represented for three operating frequencies.8 3.090 p [kg/m 3 ] 1100 1200 1050 (J [S/m] £r 0. In Fig. The homogenous model is a sphere of brain tissue only.758 11. NUMERICAL RESULTS Simulations were performed using a mesh of about 25000 tetrahedral vector elements. In Fig.8 11.19 8.2 Tabell.In table 2 values of the local peak SAR and absorbed power are compared with those from [7]... . The Spooles direct solver was used.54 107. Local peak SAR and absorbed power values . The geometric and electrical parameters of the layers for a homogenous and a three layer models are presented in Table 1 [2].'. .63 8.l 3D spherical model In order to obtain the finite element solution the computation domain was bounded with a sphere.31 100 101. starting from 5 mm to 20 mm.2 12 51. Also the electric field norm distribution in a plane transversal to the midpoint of the antenna is presented in Fig.941 0.125 mW. at 5 mm distance from the head. Homogenous and three layered human head model The dependence of the peak SAR values and of the absorbed power on the human head models.5 106. Local peak SAR Absorbed values [WIKg] power [mW] 3D MoM FDTD MoM FDTD 3D FEM [7] [7] [7] [7] FEM Homo 11.521 38.. . to be the eight part of its nominal power.2 Fig. frequency.169 model Human head spherical model genous Spherical ..

bone.9 0.41 0.19 11. for two frequencies.5) [2].4 2.92 68.364 Fat tissue Bone y 200 Dura csf 150 Brain 100 Fig.-----------------------r----------I 0..0647 1030 ---------f--. The dipole is located at 10 cm from the head.32 44. cerebra-spinal fluid (csf) and brain.---------r----------r---------.28 12.----------J 10 15 20 5 d[mm] Tabel 3. In table 4 the absorbed power in each tissue. Tissue layers ~adius SAR versus distance d 14.86 0.3 0.2 4 --- ------------------~-----------------------t------------- ----- ~OO MHz ~ 2 --------------------.SARIWIKgJ Mar.--------L. as a percentage of the total absorbed power is presented.9 skin 'im 0.96 2. Min:-9.8 42.2 -0..7 1.27 46. .0893 920 0.2 43.~ ----------------------t---------------------- OL.09 1100 ~ ~ fat .696e-3 Fig. Six-layers spherical 3D model The tissues considered for this model are: skin.----------------I bone dura csf brain fI..5 1. The model is represented by two eccentric 3-layers spheres (Fig.5 Six layered human head model 50 0. fat.0667 1060 0.18 41.4 Local peak SAR versus distance d It can be seen that the SAR decreases faster for the higher frequencies because the penetration depth is smaller. the electric parameters (the relative permittivity e r and the electric conductivity (J ) and the mass densities for the tissue layers at 900MHz and 1800 MHz (from the literature ).4 38.5 11 11. 11.758 22.9 67.3 The electric field norm distribution In Table 3 includes the geometry.11 0.2 Min: 5.. 900 MHz and 1800 MHz. [m] Density Conductivity Permittivity (J [S/m] [Kg/m 3 ] £r 900 800 900 1800 [MHz] MHz] [MHz 0. dura.87 1.0877 1850 0.14 0.---------I.2 The SAR distribution Max: 225. Parameters of the tissue layers Fig.745e-17 o Fig..0672 1050 0.

Ph. The paper represents only the beginning of a more complex research using 3D models and more realistic models such as real 3D geometries imported from MRI techniques.P.Machedon A.667676..469/20032004 [4] Tanzer I. pp-62-70."EMF Penetration in Biological Tissue when Exposed in the Near Field of a Mobile Phone Antenna". The local SAR peak values and the absorbed power values were in good agreement.. 4th International Symposium on Advanced Topics in Electrical Engineering.. FDTD and MoM..eit. Stanescu C. [9] Hassan. "Study of the coupling between human head and cellular phone helical antennas ".3.l04-109. O.org. © COPYRIGHT 1996-2004by Comsol AB [12] Khalat S. Bucharest.. Nikita K.D."Radio wave exposure of the human head: Analytical study based on a versatile exccentric spheres model including a brain core and a pair of eyeballs". [8] Cazacu D. [10] Collin R.95 12. Romania..uk/.3.Sadafi H. McGraw-Hill. [7] Koulourikidis S. the 2nd IntI. Nikita K. thesis. Li-Cheng J. www.5Opp. CNCSIS Research Grant no.A. Helsinki University of Technology.. 29 th . three layers and six layers.. Table 4 Tissue absorbed power The reference data are from [2]. ver... Workshop on biological effects of electromagnetic fields..Tissue absorbed power [%] skin fat bone dura csf brain 900 [MHz] [13] 9 3 30 2 12 43 1800 [MHz] 3DFEM 9. "On the Comsol finite element modeling of the absorption in the human head of the EMF radiated by a mobile phone antenna". as for three layers head models.1 3.March 26-29. Kovacs E. Hai Bing Hua W. with results from literature that used other numerical methods. 2007.2003. 1992. L. Faculty for electrical engineering.15 9 3 48 2 10 28 [1] Zamfirescu M.M. of electrical engineering. Greece.IEEETrans. Computers and Artificial Intelligence ECAI 2007. Future researches will involve also computation of the heat distribution in the head models and EMF .4 28.A.3 10. CD-ROM ISBN 973-7728-31-9..3 43. Rhodes. "Simulation study of detecting conductivity of brain tissues with magnetic induction based on FDTD".. University of Ottawa. No.heat fields coupled problems.. [11] Comsol RF User's Guide.1 30."Near field computation using finite element method". ROMANIA. Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium 2006..30 th June. "Numerical Modeling In electro and magneto encephalography". [2] Morega M.1 February 2004.P.Ioannidou.46.22 3.IEEE Trans. It can be noticed that.. Future experiments on phantoms will be performed and the results will be compared with FEM simulations. [6] Koulourikidis S. The absorption qualities of certain layers were evaluated and compared with those from the literature. ATEE2004.. "Characteristics of power absorption in human head models exposed to normal mode helical antennas". 5.voI..Mirzaee A. pp. [3] Morega M. Bucuresti . Lab. Rusu I.25 49. [13] Moneda.9 REFERENCES 3DFEM [13] 9. Petrisor A."Calculating SAR in two models of the human head exposed to mobile phones radiations at 900 and 1800 MHz".. The variation of the SAR values with the distance from the head was evaluated and compared for three frequencies. 2002. Sajin M. Dep. CONCLUSIONS In this paper some aspects concerning the finite element modeling of the interaction between the EMF radiated by a dipole antenna and certain 3D human head models are described. .8 1. [13]. Also the shielding effect of the bone layer is emphasized.. Conference on Electronics. Janury 1997. the 2nd IntI. 1994-2006. the skin concentrates a great amount of the absorbed electric power together with the csf layer..P.Pite~ti.Chrissoulidis D. Proc. of Biomedical Engineering 2006. Finite element simulations for three spherical human models were performed: homogenous.voI. 0.Eng. Sajin G..Sardari D.Biomed. 2004. [5] Ming-Xin Q.: "Efecte biologice ale radiatiilor electromagnetice de radiofrecventa si micro unde".. at 1710 MHz."Foundations for microwave engineering".. Editura Medicala . PhD . USA...Thesis Ottawa-Carlton Institute for electrical engineering. 2000.3 2.. The SAR distribution validates this observation. Cambridge.BME. Nov. on electromagnetic compatibility.