Evaluation of a novel cryoablation system: In vitro testing of heat capacity and freezing temperatures

Timo Weimar, Anson M. Lee, Shuddhadeb Ray, Richard B. Schuessler, Ralph J. Damiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Objective: Cryoablation has been used to ablate cardiac tissue for decades and has been shown to be able to replace incisions in the surgical treatment of atrial fibrillation. This in vitro study evaluates the performance of a novel cryoprobe and compares it with existing commercially available devices. Methods: A new malleable 10-cm aluminum cryoprobe was compared with a rigid 3.5-cm copper linear probe using in vitro testing to evaluate performances under different thermal loads and with different tissue thicknesses. Radial dimensions of ice formation were measured in each water bath by a high-precision laser 2 minutes after the onset of cooling. Probe-surface temperatures were recorded by thermocouples. Tissue temperature was measured at depths of 4 mm and 5 mm from the probe-tissue interface. Time to reach a tissue temperature of-20 C was recorded. Results: Ice formation increased significantly with lower water-bath temperatures (P < 0.001). Width and depth of ice formation were significantly less for the rigid linear probe (P < 0.012 and P < 0.001, respectively). There was no difference between the probes in the maximal negative temperature reached under different thermal loads or at different tissue depths. The malleable probe achieved significantly lower temperatures at the proximal compared with the distal end (-61.7 C vs-55.0 C, respectively; P < 0.001). A tissue temperature of-20 C was reached earlier at 4 mm than at 5 mm (P < 0.001) and was achieved significantly faster with the 3011 Maze Linear probe (P < 0.021). Conclusions: The new malleable probe achieved rapid freezing to clinically relevant levels in up to 5-mm-thick tissue. Both probes maintained their performance under a wide range of thermal loads.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-409
Number of pages7
JournalInnovations: Technology and Techniques in Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Ablative therapy
  • Arrhythmia therapy
  • Atrial fibrillation.

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