RF Energy in Medicine: Innovative Solutions Using Solid-State RF Power

Transistors that generate high-power RF energy are typically associated with powering telecommunications systems that transmit a signal over the air. However, this energy is also used for other many purposes, such as igniting a laser, accelerating particles, or generating heat. In the latter case, the energy field becomes strong enough to raise the temperature of a material to a specific value. This RF energy (also called RF power) is the driving force within a wide range of medical systems that treat disorders ranging from skin aging to neoplasia, heart pathologies, and essential hypertension. The sources of RF power began as rudimentary sources of electricity and quickly transitioned to vacuum tubes after they were invented, and today to solid-state devices.As a result, medical systems today use RF power transistors of various kinds to generate RF power.

As studies increasingly show the benefits of operating at higher frequencies such as 915 and 2450 MHz, LDMOS transistors, proven in hundreds of millions of cellular base station amplifiers throughout the world, are the obvious RF power source. This white paper covers a wide range of topics, from the history of RF in medicine to typical applications and how they work, and some new experimental applications that show promise.

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