The effect of ELF electric fields on implantable cardioverter defibrillator
González Sosa, Jarold A.
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Through research and technological advances, modern society has developed a variety of implantable devices that helps to optimize human’s life quality. One of these devices is the implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD). Our unit, ERP Environmental Health, in previous investigations has found that, in some cases, the ICD receives certain disturbances under the power lines. Therefore it is important to study the degree of immunity that implants have against electromagnetic fields, because even small interference that result from EMF exposure could deliver a major public health impact. The aim of this master thesis is to study the effect of extremely low frequency (ELF) non-uniform electric fields on implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD). This test was conducted in the laboratory of High Voltage Technology, University of Tampere, in a controlled climate room. The experiment consisted in introducing the ICD in the interior of a Human-Shaped phantom which was filled with a saline solution to emulate the conductivity within the human body; the phantom was subsequently exposed to an electric field between two parallel plates. Following the experiment, we created a three-dimensional model of the electromagnetic fields generated by a phantom. This allowed us to corroborate the experiment and calculate quantities that it was impossible to obtain physically, such equipotential lines and the electric field lines between the parallel plates. We also calculated the total induced current and compared with experimental results, obtaining in a worse case a mean relative error of 10.53%, which suggests that our calculations are in agreement with the experimental result. However, an additional comprehensive study is needed to obtain more conclusive results.