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Computational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 353849, 10 pages
Research Article

Effective Admittivity of Biological Tissues as a Coefficient of Elliptic PDE

1Department of Computational Science and Engineering, Advanced Science and Technology Center (ASTC), Yonsei University, 50 Yonsei-Ro, 134 Sinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120 749, Republic of Korea
2J. Crayton Pruitt Family Department of Biomedical Engineering, University of Florida, Biomedical Sciences Building JG-5, P.O. Box 116131, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

Received 26 October 2012; Accepted 15 January 2013

Academic Editor: Eung Je Woo

Copyright © 2013 Jin Keun Seo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The electrical properties of biological tissues can be described by a complex tensor comprising a simple expression of the effective admittivity. The effective admittivities of biological tissues depend on scale, applied frequency, proportions of extra- and intracellular fluids, and membrane structures. The effective admittivity spectra of biological tissue can be used as a means of characterizing tissue structural information relating to the biological cell suspensions, and therefore measuring the frequency-dependent effective conductivity is important for understanding tissue’s physiological conditions and structure. Although the concept of effective admittivity has been used widely, it seems that its precise definition has been overlooked. We consider how we can determine the effective admittivity for a cube-shaped object with several different biologically relevant compositions. These precise definitions of effective admittivity may suggest the ways of measuring it from boundary current and voltage data. As in the homogenization theory, the effective admittivity can be computed from pointwise admittivity by solving Maxwell equations. We compute the effective admittivity of simple models as a function of frequency to obtain Maxwell-Wagner interface effects and Debye relaxation starting from mathematical formulations. Finally, layer potentials are used to obtain the Maxwell-Wagner-Fricke expression for a dilute suspension of ellipses and membrane-covered spheres.