What is Bioelectromagnetics?

Bioelectromagnetics (BioEM) covers the interaction of electromagnetic (EM) fields with the human body. It is a crucial topic for a wide range of medical devices for imaging and treatment. Safety regulations mean it is also a concern for a vast range of other products ranging from smartphones to electric cars. The human body is a complex structure made up materials with a wide range of frequency-dependent EM and thermal properties, meaning that we need specialized modeling and simulation tools. 

The CST Studio Suite electromagnetic and multiphysics simulation tools can help to tackle the challenges of electrical engineering near the human body. Powerful design tools and realistic material models can capture the rich details of both electronic devices and the human body. High-performance solver technology can simulate EM fields in the complex environment of the body rapidly and accurately.

The complexity of the human body requires detailed simulation models. SIMULIA software supports both polygonal (CAD) body models and voxel body models, which it can pose within the tool to set up realistic test scenarios. A family of simulation-ready human body models representing different body types is available from SIMULIA.

CST Studio Suite simulation technology also includes accurate bio-heat models, considering thermoregulation effects such as blood flow and metabolic heat, to realistically simulate how electromagnetic fields heat the body.

BioEM Simulation Application Areas

Bioelectromagnetic Simulation for Life Sciences

Medical devices such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), microwave imaging, and diathermy all rely on EM fields to operate. Designing an efficient, high-resolution MRI scanner, for example, requires an understanding of multiple overlaying fields at a wide range of frequencies – from the static magnetic field to the radio frequency pulse – and their complex interaction with the molecules of the body.

Electromagnetic simulation models the propagation of waves through the body, and the interaction of waves with tissues – whether a required therapeutic effect or an unwanted side effect. Device engineers and physicians can use the simulation results to understand exactly how energy is absorbed by the body and validate designs and treatment protocols. We can use simulation, for example, to verify the safety of implants and devices like pacemakers during a scan or to calculate the heating pattern and safe power levels for a course of radio frequency (RF) diathermy.

The MRI simulation solution from SIMULIA models all the different coils and their control circuits together with the patient for a full-system simulation of the scan procedure. Simulating the scan procedure helps MRI technicians to tune the coils for an optimal image considering the real structure of the body.

Applications include:

  • MRI
  • RF and microwave imaging
  • Diathermy and hyperthermy
  • Implant safety
  • Wearable and implantable electronics
Bioelectromagnetics Simulatio of a Pacemaker > Dassault Systèmes

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