rexresearch.com


John KANZIUS

RF-Induced Hyperthermia vs Cancer

&

 Salt Water-Fuel







John Kanzius


Addendum : MX2009005080 ~ RF SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PROCESSING SALT WATER


http://www.wpbf.com/news/13383827/detail.html
http://www.wpbf.com/health/11125485/detail.html
Video:  http://www.wpbf.com/video/13382787/index.html

Fla. Man Invents Machine To Turn Water Into Fire

SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. -- A Florida man may have accidentally invented a machine that could solve the gasoline and energy crisis plaguing the U.S., WPBF News 25 reported.

Sanibel Island resident John Kanzius is a former broadcast executive from Pennsylvania who wondered if his background in physics and radio could come in handy in treating the disease from which he suffers: cancer.

Kanzius, 63, invented a machine that emits radio waves in an attempt to kill cancerous cells while leaving normal cells intact. While testing his machine, he noticed that his invention had other unexpected abilities.

Filling a test tube with salt water from a canal in his back yard, Kanzius placed the tube and a paper towel in the machine and turned it on. Suddenly, the paper towel ignited, lighting up the tube like it was a wax candle.

"Pretty neat, huh?" Kanzius asked WPBF's Jon Shainman.

Kanzius performed the experiment without the paper towel and got the same result -- the saltwater was actually burning.

The former broadcasting executive said he showed the experiment to a handful of scientists across the country who claim they are baffled at watching salt water ignite.

Kanzius said the flame created from his machine reaches a temperature of around 3,000 degrees Farenheit. He said a chemist told him that the immense heat created from the machine breaks down the hydrogen-oxygen bond in the water, igniting the hydrogen.

"You could take plain salt water out of the sea, put it in containers and produce a violent flame that could heat generators that make electricity, or provide other forms of energy," Kanzius said.
He said engineers are currently experimenting with him in Erie, Pa. in an attempt to harness the energy. They've built an engine that, when placed on top of the flame, chugged along for two minutes, Kanzius told WPBF.

Kanzius admits all the excitement surrounding a new possible energy source was a stroke of luck. Someone who witnessed his work on the cancer front asked him if perhaps the machine could be used for desalinization.

"This was an experiment to see if I could heat salt water, and instead of heat, I got fire," Kanzius said.

Kanzius said he hoped that his invention could one day solve a lot of the world's energy problems.

"If I were to be bold enough, I think one day you could power an automobile with this, eventually," Kanzius told WPBF.


WPBF.com
February 27, 2007

Florida Man Invents Machine To Cure Cancer

 
SANIBEL ISLAND, Fla. -- A Florida man with no medical training has invented a machine that he believes may lead to a cure for cancer.
John Kanzius, who turns 63 on March 1, is a former broadcast executive from Pennsylvania who wondered if his background in physics and radio could come in handy in treating the disease from which he suffers himself.

Inside his Sanibel Island garage, Kanzius invented a machine he believes sits on the brink of a major medical breakthrough.

The machine began to take shape four years ago, when his dreams of retirement were put on hold after he was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia.

Kanzius' invention is not flashy, and it looks like a piece of 20th-century hardware. It doesn't even have a name.

"It's a kick-ass cancer cell generator," Kanzius called it.

After 24 rounds of chemotherapy, the former broadcaster decided that he did not want to see others suffer trying to cure the disease.

Kanzius said it was watching kids being treated that affected him the most.

"Particularly, young children walk in with smiles, and then you'd see them three weeks later and their smiles had disappeared. I said to myself, 'We're in a barbaric type of medicine,'" Kanzius told WPBF.

He began tinkering with pie plates and hot dogs, trying to use his broadcasting background to kill the cancerous cells.

Kanzius said his machine basically makes cells act like antennae to pick up a signal and self-destruct.

Unlike current cancer treatment, Kanzius' machine does not use radiation, and unlike today's radio-frequency treatments, it's noninvasive.

Now, some of the nation's most prominent doctors and scientists are using Kanzius' machines in their research. In January, researchers said they performed a breakthrough at the M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

"The complete killing of pancreatic cells in laboratory conditions is encouraging," Dr. Steve Curley said.

Curley is currently testing whether cancerous tumors can be wiped out in animals.

"We've got a lot more work to do, but this is very interesting preliminary work," Curley told WPBF.

Kanzius explained that his machine uses a solution filled with nanoparticles, which measure no more than one-billionth of a meter. A test subject would be injected with either gold or carbon nanoparticles, which would make their way through the body and attach to the cancerous cells. The test subject would then enter the machine and receive a dose of radio frequency waves, theoretically heating and killing the cancerous cells in moments and leaving nearby cells untouched.

"That is the holy grail -- when they attach, and research has shown that they're able to kill them once they attach to the cancer cells," Kanzius said.

Kanzius said he hopes to begin human testing with his machine within the next two years.

"The results look too phenomenal for anyone to stop at this point in time. I don't think the largest research center in the world would put time and effort and their name on a project if they did not think it would work," Kanzius told WPBF.

Kanzius told WPBF he does not want to try and build up false hope, but he mentioned that there could be some major announcements coming from researchers in the next coming months.



WSEE-TV
http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070518/WSEE01/70517027/-1
VIDEO : http://interface.audiovideoweb.com/lnk/va92win15111/CURRAN051707.wmv/play.asx
May 18. 2007

KANZIUS DISCOVERS ALTERNATIVE FUEL

John Kanzius may have found a cure for cancer and a renewable energy source too.

As if finding a potential cure for cancer isn't enough... John Kanzius and his associate Charlie Rutkowski have found a way to create energy by burning salt water with the same radio wave machine they are using to kill cancer cells.

Kanzius and Rutkowski were testing their external radio-wave generator to see if it could desalinate salt water... and they ended up being able to burn it.

"On our way to try to do desalinization we came up with something that burns and it looks like salt water could be used as a fuel to replace the carbon footsteps that we've been using all these years i.e. fossil fuels." said Kanzius

The radio waves excite the salt water causing it to burn and creating the perfect energy source.

"Using salt water or as you saw we used man made salt water just took tap water and added salt water to it and got it to burn so if you have water and salt two of the biggest resources on this whole planet i mean unbelievable." said Rutkowski.

The potential uses are limitless... fuel for cars, creating electricity, heating homes... and all with a resource that is unlimited and renewable.

Kanzius plans to continue his research and hopes that one day his invention will cure cancer and create energy from salt water efficiently.

"If it helps humanity and it helps people out and it helps the city and the county out and more jobs for this city then I feel like done part." said Kanzius.

Now the question is... what will Kanzius do next?


http://www.wjettv.com/content/fulltext/?cid=2424
VIDEO: http://www.wjettv.com/media_player.php?media_id=1357
May 17, 2007

From Treating Cancer to Finding Alternative Fuels

by

Kim Thomas

He's already on the path to finding a treatment for cancer, now Erie inventor John Kanzius may have discovered a way to produce alternative fuels. Thursday afternoon, Kanzius showed how he was able to convert salt water into fuel.

The External RF Generator was invented to find a treatment for cancer.  Now, after experimenting with the desalinization  process, John Kanzius has potentially found an alternative fuel... salt water. You may have to see it, to believe it.

First, Kanzius showed how plain tap water wouldn't create a flame. Then, Morton salt was added... heated up... and ignition. Kanzius can add salt to tap water or use salt water from the Gulf of Mexico or any other body of water. They've proved it can even work like a spark plug creating heat in a chamber by using a paper towel as a wick.

If this is as successful as Kanzius is predicting, salt water could someday be used as a low-cost alternative fuel.

Kanzius says he feels the same way about this latest discovery as he does about his theory for curing cancer.  As long as he's helping the Erie community and humanity, then he's doing his part.


Water Into Fuel?
 

by

Michael O'Mara

Retired TV station owner and broadcast engineer, John Kanzius, wasn't looking for an answer to the energy crisis.

He was looking for a cure for cancer.

Four years ago, inspiration struck in the middle of the night. Kanzius decided to try using radio waves to kill the cancer cells.

His wife Marianne heard the noise and found her husband inventing a radio frequency generator with her pie pans.

"I got up immediately, and thought he had lost it."

Here are the basics of John's idea:

Radio-waves will heat certain metals. Tiny bits of certain metal are injected into a cancer patient.

Those nano-particals are attracted to the abnormalities of the cancer cells and ignore the healthy cells.

The patient is then exposed to radio waves and only the bad cells heat up and die.

But John also came across yet another extrordinary breakthrough.

His machine could actually make saltwater burn.

John Kanzius discovered that his radio frequency generator could release the oxygen and hydrogen from saltwater and create an incredibly intense flame.

"Just like that. If that was in a car cylinder you could see the amount of fire that would be in the cylinder."

The APV Company Laboratory in Akron has checked out John's amazing invention. They were amazed.

"That could be a steam engine, a steam turbine. That could be a car engine if you wanted it to be."

Imagine the possibilities. Saltwater as the ultimate clean fuel.

A happy byproduct of one man searching for the cure for cancer.
 


Erie Times-News  ( 17 Aug. 2007 ), 1B

"Staggeringly Important"

Renowned scientist lauds Kanzius' invention

By GEORGE MILLER
george.miller@timesnews.com

A materials scientist is heated up over the effect of John Kanzius' external radio-wave generator on salt water.

"It is scientifically a staggeringly important discovery", said Rustum Roy, a leading authority on microwave applications on materials technology.

Roy was in Erie on Thursday to view experiments with the radio-wave generator at Industrial Sales and Manufacturing Inc., the Millcreek company that builds Kanzius' generator. In the experiments, a test tube of salt water creates a flame when bombarded by the generator.

"It will certainly shape a lot of science", said Roy, who founded the Materials Science Laboratory at Pennsylvania State University. "It will tell us a lot more about the structure of water than anything in 100 years. It's a big, big contribution to the science of water".

Roy, a Penn State professor emeritus, still teaches some classes there and oversees research. He has done studies on the structure of water. He is also a visiting professor of medicine at the University of Arizona and distinguished professor of materials at Arizona State University. He spends his winters in Arizona. Kanzius said Roy was the first outside expert in water to view the demonstration. "It was sink-or-swim time for the project," Kanzius said. Kanzius said he is pleased with the assessment, especially because there have been skeptics. "To hear a world authority give such a rave review is phenomenal", he said. "It's more than we ever expected to hear from him today. I expected him to hit me on the head with a sledgehammer and say, "Wake up".

Kanzius, a Millcreek inventor and a former television and radio broadcaster and engineer, built the radio-wave generator in 2003 as a way of treating cancer. The cancer research, he said, is going fullspeed ahead."

He found the generator's effect on salt water by a fluke during a demonstration in the fall of 2006 and has been exploring its use as an alternative energy source since then.

Roy said the Kanzius' discovery has scientific value in itself and also has the potential to create an alternative energy source and perhaps even to benefit medicine beyond cancer.

"Where its applications lead is hard to tell", said Roy. "Science is not hard to tell. It's going to be a whole new growth tree of science of the radiation effects on water structure?"

Roy said he isn't sure whether the generator's use would result in a net gain in energy since the generator itself is powered by energy.

"It is certainly a new route for active research", he said.


http://www.latimes.com/news/la-na-cancer2nov02,0,1721192,full.story?coll=la-tot-topstoriesSending his cancer a signal
November 2, 2007

Sending His Cancer A Signal

by
Erika Hayasaki,
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
erika.hayasaki@latimes.com

"I want to see the treatment work," says John Kanzius, whose cancer has recurred. He knows the process he developed may not be ready in time to save his life, but the project was never about him. John Kanzius, sorely weakened by leukemia treatments, drew on his lifetime of working with radio waves to devise a machine that targets cancer cells. The miracle: It works.

ERIE, PA. -- When doctors told John Kanzius he had nine months to live, he quietly thanked God for his blessings and prepared to die.

Then 58, he had lived a good life, with a loving wife, two successful adult daughters and a gratifying career.

Now he had leukemia and was ready to accept his fate, but the visits to the cancer ward shook him. Faces haunted him, the bald and bandaged heads, bodies slumped in wheelchairs, and children who could not play.

Like him, they had endured chemotherapy treatments that caused their weight to plummet, hands to shake, bodies to weaken, and immune systems to break down to the point that the slightest germ could be deadly. Kanzius knew their agony. He believed if cancer didn't kill him first, the treatments surely would.

He thought there had to be a more humane way to treat cancer.

Kanzius did not have a medical background, not even a bachelor's degree, but he knew radios. He had built and fixed them since he was a child, collecting transmitters, transceivers, antennas and amplifiers, earning an amateur radio operator license. Kanzius knew how to send radio wave signals around the world. If he could transmit them into cancer cells, he wondered, could he then direct the radio waves to destroy tumors, while leaving healthy cells intact?

Awake in bed one night in 2003, as the clock ticked past 2, Kanzius pulled himself from beneath the covers, leaving his sleeping wife, Marianne. He staggered down a flight of stairs, grabbed some copper wires, boxes, antennas and Marianne's pie pans, and began building a machine.

For months, Kanzius tinkered, using the pie pans to create an electronic circuit, often waking Marianne with his clanging. By day, he sent her out with supply lists: mineral mixtures, metals, wires.

His early-morning experiments would lead him to one of the nation's top cancer researcher centers, and earn the support of a Nobel Prize winner.

When it came to electronics, Marianne had always known her husband was gifted. But still she worried: Was he going mad? "My God, honey," she thought, "none of the doctors can fix this. How can you?"

Kanzius' mother wanted him to be a priest or a doctor, but he followed his father, a technician and ham radio operator who taught his son to love electronics and told him they would soon take over the world.

When Kanzius was 22, after two years of trade school, he got a job at RCA as a technical assistant. On his first day, he fixed the company's color television transmitters, which had been the subject of lawsuits because they did not comply with Federal Communications Commission guidelines. He was promoted to the engineering department.

He worked at RCA for two years. In 1966, he took a job at a television station as director of engineering. Kanzius became president and co-owner of a television and radio station company in 1984. He retired in 2001.

In the winter of 2002 Kanzius felt soreness in his abdomen. On Good Friday, he went in for a CT scan. Doctors told him he had five to seven years to live.

The drive home felt like the longest of his life. On the way, he called Marianne. She noted that moment in her journal:

"I hadn't heard from him. Then the phone rang. 'Honey, it's bad. I have a tumor in my stomach. They're not certain, but they think it's non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.' The phone went silent."

He underwent chemotherapy, a few times a week for six months -- but he stayed upbeat, and doctors told him the cancer had gone into remission.

A year after his diagnosis, on Good Friday again, doctors gave him bad news: He had an aggressive type of cancer that had not actually gone into remission. They gave him nine months. Doctors said he needed a bone marrow transplant, and Kanzius traveled to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston for a second opinion. During his visit, he noticed the children in the cancer ward. Kanzius went home thinking about them, and soon mapped out his idea.

He knew that metal would heat when exposed to radio waves. He wanted to focus the waves by inserting metal particles into tumors. The infused cells would be placed in a radiofrequency field. The waves would pass through the human body, and the particles injected into the cancer would heat and kill the cells without harming anything else.

He built a machine to send the waves, while undergoing his second round of chemotherapy. This time the treatments nearly killed him. He spent three or four days a week at the hospital, sometimes for as long as eight hours. He came home to rest, only to toil over his project.

By Christmas 2003, Kanzius could barely walk. Around that time, his 83-year-old mother died from lung cancer. Kanzius was too weak to board a plane for her funeral.

He drew pictures for Marianne, leaving them around the house. One showed him as a stick figure curled over a toilet as she took care of him. "A sign of real love," he wrote. "You are my reason for living."

Weary and weak, he tested his machine with hot dogs, then liver, then steak. He injected minerals into the meat and placed the slabs into his machine. To his delight, the injected portions of meat burned. But would it work on people?

Marianne marveled at his ingenuity and determination. She took a walk one night and noticed the brilliant colors of leaves soon to fall from trees.

"Is it a lesson in life?" she wrote in her journal. "Do we see how wonderful, how beautiful, how magnificent someone is, just as we're about to lose them?"

The worst of Kanzius' treatment was over by spring 2005, and the cancer this time was in remission.

Reinvigorated, Kanzius knew he needed to get the word out about his discovery. He had lunch with a competitor from his days in the news industry, the managing editor of a local newspaper. He told him about his project, and the editor assigned a reporter to find out more. By summer, articles began to appear, and the community grew interested.

Dr. David A. Geller, co-director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center's liver cancer program, read about Kanzius' machine and called him.

Kanzius had secured a patent for his machine, and asked a company that made transmitters to build a model. He sent it to the medical center so Geller could perform tests.

Kanzius shared his theory with his leukemia doctor at M.D. Anderson. Kanzius said he wanted to show his machine to Dr. Steven A. Curley, an oncologist on staff who specialized in radiofrequency cancer treatment.

Doctors already use a treatment called radiofrequency ablation to kill cancer. The method involves inserting needles into tumors and killing them with electrodes. The invasive procedure is limited because it can only reach certain sites, mostly small tumors, and it can damage healthy cells in the surrounding area.

Kanzius' doctor contacted Curley and told him he did not know whether his patient was mad, but his idea had attracted a lot of attention. Curley called Kanzius and asked whether he could find a substance that could attach to cancer cells and burn when hit with radio waves, sparing healthy cells.

Kanzius said he might be able to use nanoparticles, which are so small that 75,000 to 100,000 lined up side by side equal the width of a strand of human hair. He thought nanoparticles could potentially be directed to travel through the bloodstream and stick only to cancer cells -- a patient would swallow a pill or take a shot containing them. But would they burn?

Kanzius needed to get his hands on some nanoparticles.

Curley knew that Nobel Prize-winning chemist Richard Smalley, who specialized in nanoscience, was also being treated for cancer at M.D. Anderson. Curley got in touch with Smalley and explained Kanzius' theory.

Smalley did not think the nanoparticles would burn but agreed to give Curley two vials.

In June 2005, Curley met with Kanzius and Marianne. He pulled the vials of nanoparticles out of his suit jacket pocket, and Kanzius placed them in the radio field of his machine and turned it on.

They burned.

Marianne captured that day in her journal:

"John asked, 'Is this what you expected?' For the first time in my life, I realized that a smile starts behind the eyes before it starts at the mouth, for Steve responded, 'This is much more than I expected.' I watched his smile engulf his entire face."

Marianne finally realized: "Could what John's working on be real?" Curley phoned Smalley to tell him the news.

He remembered Smalley's response: "Holy God."

Smalley asked his colleagues at Rice University to work with Curley's team at M.D. Anderson on the project.

Shortly before he died in October 2005, Smalley made a final request to Curley, who would not forget his words: "Nothing has the potential to help people, to help patients, more than this. You have to promise me to keep doing this work."

With the project moving along, Kanzius invited scholars, politicians and scientists to Erie for demonstrations. This spring, a Canadian health minister had a random thought, after noticing how quickly condensation formed on the test tube walls during the process: With the world's need for fresh water, he asked Kanzius, could his machine be used to desalinate water?

A few weeks later, Kanzius tried to heat and distill water mixed with Morton's salt in a test tube, which he placed into his generator. He turned on the radio frequencies and held a match to the salt water.

Flames erupted.

The radio waves had weakened the bonds that held together the elements that made up the water, and ignited the hydrogen. The results left scientists excited by the possibility of separating hydrogen -- the most abundant element in the universe -- from salt water to use as a fuel.

Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist and water science expert, called it the most remarkable discovery in water science in the last century. His team is working on the saltwater project at Penn State, using Kanzius' machine.

The saltwater discovery pleased Kanzius, but the cancer project took precedence.

Four years after he came up with his idea, researchers continued experiments and killed human cancer cells in petri dishes using nanoparticles and his machine. They recently killed 100% of cancer cells grown in the livers of rabbits, using Kanzius' method.

Curley said the treatment is the most promising he has ever seen because it has the potential to kill cancer -- without invasive treatment or surgery -- that doctors currently have no way of detecting. The next step for scientists is to perfect a method of binding nanoparticles with antibodies that, when introduced into the bloodstream, will attach only to cancer cells while avoiding normal cells. He said the treatment could work on any kind of cancer, and he estimates clinical trials are three to four years away.

"Possible?" Curley said. "Yes. Not simple."

Last year, Kanzius began raising money for his research with the help of his neighbors. High school students held fundraisers, foundations offered grants, and children sold lemonade. Donations soon reached more than $1 million. This May, Erie officials gave Kanzius a key to the city and declared an official John Kanzius Day. A former Erie mayor announced a goal of raising $3 million to fund research.

But the accolades meant little if the wider medical community did not recognize the research. It had to be reviewed by a panel of medical experts and published in a scientific journal.

In June, scientists submitted manuscripts based on the findings to journals. Three months later, Curley called Kanzius with news: The manuscripts, with Kanzius listed as a co-author, would be published in December in Cancer, an oncology medical journal. The results appeared online last week.

Kanzius hung up and yelled the news to Marianne, who was watching television downstairs. She screamed.

At 63, Kanzius is still receiving treatment for his cancer, which has recurred. He knows the process he developed may not be ready in time to save his life, but the project was never about him. "I want to see the treatment work," he said. "That would be my thanks."

For Marianne, the journey led her to question her faith in God, only to have it reaffirmed.

She is hopeful the invention will help future generations, but she lives in terror, staying up at night to make sure Kanzius is still breathing. She cannot imagine waking up without her husband beside her.

"I'm selfish," she said. "If something can help him, I would like this to help him.

"Yes, I hope."


http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20090508/NEWS02/305089932/-1/NEWS02
May 08. 2009

Research shows Kanzius' invention kills leukemia cells

by

DAVID BRUCE
david.bruce@timesnews.com [more details]

What It Means

The research showed that John Kanzius' radio-frequency device can kill leukemia cells in blood without damaging a high percentage of healthy cells. Such data was needed to determine if the device could possibly be used one day to treat leukemia patients.

Hamot Medical Center is presenting 33 research projects Thursday and today at the hospital's Research Exposition 2009.

But only one of those projects involves a device that has been profiled on "60 Minutes" and in major newspapers around the world.

A group of researchers, including the late Millcreek Township inventor John Kanzius, showed that Kanzius' external radio-frequency generator can kill leukemia cells in blood while damaging few other, healthy cells.

"This is information we needed to find," said Peter Depowski, M.D., Hamot's chief of pathology and one of the project's researchers. "It doesn't matter how well the device kills cancer cells if you kill all the healthy cells as well."

Kanzius, who died in February after a long battle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, helped put together the research project in 2008. It was completed in December.

Blood samples were taken from 19 CLL patients at the Regional Cancer Center.

Researchers had wanted samples from 20 patients, and dozens from all over the world volunteered for the project. But researchers had time to work with only 19 patients before Kanzius had to move his RF device to his winter home in Sanibel, Fla.

All but one blood sample were treated with Kanzius' device, which emits radio waves. The samples were then sent for testing to see what cells survived.

The remaining sample served as the project's control.

"We learned that the radio waves damage the (cancer) cells more than the healthy ones," said Justine Schober, M.D., one of the project's researchers and Hamot's director of academic research. "What we don't know is the significance. Whether the damage is due to heating or something else."

Schober; Kanzius; Depowski; and Lazarus Mayoglou, a Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine student, sent the data to Steve Curley, M.D., principal investigator for the Kanzius Project at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Curley said the data gave him background on how well Kanzius' device would work on this particular type of cancer cell.

"(It) raised the blood temperature enough to kill low percentages of the leukemic cells," Curley said in an e-mail. "We killed the same percentage of cells with a hot water bath treatment. So it was not the RF field but nonspecific low level heating."

Curley and his research team at M.D. Anderson continue to test Kanzius' device on many different types of cancer, including leukemia. He said they are using gold nanoparticles -- tiny pieces of metal -- to target the leukemia cells, just as he does with liver and pancreatic cancer cells.

Kanzius' device heats the nanoparticles until they destroy the targeted cancer cells. Nearby healthy cells, which aren't targeted, are not damaged.

"It only works well with the nanoparticles," Curley said.

Playing even a small role in the search for a cancer cure is rewarding, Depowski said.

"Dr. Curley is leading the charge, and we're following his lead," Depowski said.

Hamot's Research Exposition continues today at the hospital, 201 State St.

DAVID BRUCE can be reached at 870-1736 or by e-mail.


US Patent Application # 20060190063

Enhanced Systems and Methods for RF-Induced Hyperthermia

24 August 2006
US Cl. 607/101
Intl Cl. A61F 2/00 20060101 A61F002/00

Abstract -- A method of inducing hyperthermia in at least a portion of a target area--e.g., a tumor or a portion of a tumor or targeted cancerous cells--is provided. Targeted RF absorption enhancers, e.g., antibodies bound to RF absorbing particles, are introduced into a patient. These targeted RF absorption enhancers will target certain cells in the target areas and enhance the effect of a hyperthermia generating RF signal directed toward the target area. The targeted RF absorption enhancers may, in a manner of speaking, add one or more RF absorption frequencies to cells in the target area, which will permit a hyperthermia generating RF signal at that frequency or frequencies to heat the targeted cells.

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] This application claims priority to, and the benefits of, provisional application Ser. No.: 60/569,348 filed on May 7, 2004, which is entitled System and Method For RF-Induced Hyperthermia, and which is incorporated herein by reference. This application is also a continuation in part of and claims priority to non-provisional application Ser. No. 10/969,477 filed on Oct. 8, 2004, which is also entitled System and Method for RF-Induced Hyperthermia, and which is incorporated herein by reference. This application is also related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed herewith and entitled Systems and Methods for Combined RF-Induced Hyperthermia and Radioimmunotherapy and filed herewith and related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. ______, filed herewith and entitled Systems and Methods for RF-Induced Hyperthermia Using Biological Cells and Nanoparticles as RF Enhancer Carriers, both of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates generally to the field of radio frequency (RF) circuits, and more specifically to an RF transmitter and receiver system and method for inducing hyperthermia in a target area.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0003] Hyperthermia is characterized by a very high fever, especially when induced artificially for therapeutic purposes. RF electromagnetic energy is electromagnetic energy at any frequency in the radio spectrum from 9000 Hz to 3 THz (3000 GHz). It is known in the art to use contact antennas to direct RF electromagnetic radiation to intentionally induce hyperthermia in human tissue for therapeutic purposes, e.g., destroying diseased cells (e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 4,800,899). There are also several other prior art RF heating devices described in various publications (e.g., the Thermotron RF-8 system, Yamamoto Viniter Co. of Osaka, Japan, and the KCTPATEPM system, Russia, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,099,756; Re. 32,066; and U.S. Pat. No. 4,095,602 to LeVeen).

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] In accordance with one exemplary embodiment of the present invention, a method of inducing hyperthermia in at least a portion of a target area--e.g., a tumor or a portion of a tumor or targeted cancerous cells--is provided. In this first exemplary method, targeted RF absorption enhancers, e.g., antibodies bound to RF absorbing particles, are introduced into a patient. These targeted RF absorption enhancers will target certain cells in the target areas and enhance the effect of a hyperthermia generating RF signal directed toward the target area. The targeted RF absorption enhancers may, in a manner of speaking, add one or more artificial RF absorption frequencies to cells in the target area, which will permit a hyperthermia generating RF signal at that frequency or frequencies to heat the targeted cells.

[0005] In accordance with another exemplary embodiment of the present invention, another method of inducing hyperthermia in at least a portion of a target area is provided. In this second exemplary method RF absorption enhancers (targeted and/or non-targeted) are introduced into a patient and a multifrequency hyperthermia generating RF signal is directed toward the target area. The multifrequency hyperthermia generating RF signal may be a frequency modulated (FM) signal having parameters selected to correspond to a sample of particles being used as energy absorption enhancer particles in the RF absorption enhancers. For example, the center frequency of an FM hyperthermia generating signal may correspond to a resonant frequency of nominally sized particles used as energy absorption enhancer particles and the modulation of the FM hyperthermia generating signal may correspond to a size tolerance of the particles.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is an exemplary high-level block diagram of a non-invasive RF system for inducing hyperthermia in a target area;

FIG. 2 is an exemplary medium-level block diagram of an RF system for inducing hyperthermia in a target area;

FIGS. 3, 3A, 4, 5 and 6 are exemplary embodiments of transmission heads and reception heads on either side of a target areas;

FIG. 7 is an exemplary high-level flowchart of an embodiment of a RF methodology for inducing hyperthermia in a target area;

FIG. 8 is an exemplary medium level flow chart of an embodiment of an RF methodology for inducing hyperthermia in a target area;

FIG. 9 is an exemplary medium level flow chart of an embodiment of an RF methodology for inducing in-vitro hyperthermia in a target area;

FIG. 10 is an exemplary medium level flow chart of an embodiment of a magnetic methodology for separating cells;

FIGS. 11, 12A, and 12B are high-level schematic block diagrams of exemplary RF systems;

FIG. 13 is a front/left perspective schematic view of another exemplary transmission head;

FIG. 14 is a left side schematic view of the exemplary transmission head of FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is a left side schematic view of an exemplary pair of heads of FIG. 13 arranged as an exemplary transmitter head and receiver head;

FIG. 16 is a front/left perspective schematic view of yet another exemplary transmission head;

FIG. 17 is a left side schematic view of the exemplary transmission head of FIG. 16;

FIG. 18 is a left side schematic view of an exemplary pair of heads of FIG. 16 arranged as an exemplary transmitter head and receiver head;

FIGS. 19, 20, 21A, 21B, 22A, and 22B are schematic diagrams showing various exemplary configurations of transmitter heads and receiver heads;

FIG. 23 is a medium-level schematic block diagram of an exemplary RF generator;

FIGS. 24-29 are schematic circuit diagrams of exemplary tuned circuit RF absorbing particles for RF absorption enhancers; and

FIGS. 30-33 are schematic illustrations of exemplary implementations of tuned circuit RF absorbing particles for RF absorption enhancers.


DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0024] In the accompanying drawings which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, exemplary embodiments of the invention are illustrated, which, together with a general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description given below, serve to example principles of the invention.

[0025] Referring to the drawings, and initially to FIG. 1, there is shown a first exemplary embodiment of a non-invasive RF system 100 for inducing hyperthermia in a target area 106. System 100 comprises an RF transmitter 102 in circuit communication with a transmission head 104 and an RF receiver 110 in circuit communication with a reception head 108. "Circuit communication" as used herein is used to indicate a communicative relationship between devices. Direct electrical, optical, and electromagnetic connections and indirect electrical, optical, and electromagnetic connections are examples of circuit communication. Two devices are in circuit communication if a signal from one is received by the other, regardless of whether the signal is modified by some other device. For example, two devices separated by one or more of the following--transformers, optoisolators, digital or analog buffers, analog integrators, other electronic circuitry, fiber optic transceivers, or even satellites--are in circuit communication if a signal from one reaches the other, even though the signal is modified by the intermediate device(s). As a final example, two devices not directly connected to each other (e.g. keyboard and memory), but both capable of interfacing with a third device, (e.g., a CPU), are in circuit communication.

[0026] In exemplary system 100, the RF transmitter 102 generates an RF signal 120 at a frequency for transmission via the transmission head 104. Optionally, the RF transmitter 102 has controls for adjusting the frequency and/or power of the generated RF signal and/or may have a mode in which an RF signal at a predetermined frequency and power are transmitted via transmission head 104. In addition, optionally, the RF transmitter 102 provides an RF signal with variable amplitudes, pulsed amplitudes, multiple frequencies, etc.

[0027] The RF receiver 110 is in circuit communication with the reception head 108. The RF receiver 110 is tuned so that at least a portion of the reception head 108 is resonant at the frequency of the RF signal 120 transmitted via the transmission head 104. As a result, the reception head 108 receives the RF signal 120 that is transmitted via the transmission head 104.

[0028] The transmission head 104 and reception head 108 are arranged proximate to and on either side of a general target area 106. General target 106 is general location of the area to be treated. The general target area 106 is any target area or type of cells or group of cells, such as for example, tissue, blood cells, bone marrow cells, etc. The transmission head 104 and reception head 108 are preferably insulated from direct contact with the general target area 106. Preferably, the transmission head 104 and reception head 108 are insulated by means of an air gap 112. Optional means of insulating the transmission head 104 and reception head 108 from the general target area 106 include inserting an insulating layer or material 310 (FIG. 3), such as, for example, Teflon.RTM. between the heads 104, 108 and the general target area 106. Other optional means include providing an insulation area on the heads 104, 108, allowing the heads to be put in direct contact with the general target area 106. The transmission head 104 and the reception head 108, described in more detail below, may include one or more plates of electrically conductive material.

[0029] The general target area 106 absorbs energy and is warmed as the RF signal 120 travels through the general target area 106. The more energy that is absorbed by an area, the higher the temperature increase in the area. Generally, the general target area 106 includes a specific target area 130. Specific target area 130 includes the tissue or higher concentration of cells, such as, for example, a tumor, that are desired to be treated by inducing hyperthermia. Preferably, the general target area is heated to for example, to between 106.degree. and 107.degree.. Thus, preferably, the specific target area 130 receives higher concentrations of the RF signal 120 then the general target area 106. As a result, the specific target area 130 absorbs more energy, resulting in a higher temperature in the specific target area 130 than in the surrounding general target area 106.

[0030] Energy absorption in a target area can be increased by increasing the RF signal 120 strength, which increases the amount of energy traveling through the general target area 106. Other means of increasing the energy absorption include concentrating the signal on a localized area, or specific target area 130, and/or enhancing the energy absorption characteristics of the target area 130.

[0031] One method of inducing a higher temperature in the specific target area 130 includes using a reception head that is smaller than the transmission head. The smaller reception head picks up more energy due to the use of a high-Q resonant circuit described in more detail below. Optionally, an RF absorption enhancer 132 is used. An RF absorption enhancer is any means or method of increasing the tendency of the specific target area 130 to absorb more energy from the RF signal. Injecting an aqueous solution is a means for enhancing RF absorption. Aqueous solutions suitable for enhancing RF absorption include, for example, water, saline solution, aqueous solutions containing suspended particles of electrically conductive material, such as metals, e.g., iron, various combination of metals, e.g., iron and other metals, or magnetic particles. These types of RF enhancers (i.e., non-targeted "general RF enhancers") are generally directly introduced into the target area. Other exemplary general RF enhancers are discussed below, e.g., aqueous solutions of virtually any metal sulfate (e.g., aqueous solutions of iron sulfate, copper sulfate, and/or magnesium sulfate, e.g., aqueous solutions (about 5 mg/kg of body mass), copper sulfate (about 2 mg/kg of body mass), and magnesium sulfate (about 20 mg/kg of body mass)), other solutions of virtually any metal sulfate, injectable metal salts (e.g., gold salts), and RF absorbing particles attached to other non-targeted carriers. Preferably, these types of RF enhancers may be directly injected into the target area by means of a needle and syringe, or otherwise introduced into the patient.

[0032] Other means of enhancing RF absorption include providing targeted RF enhancers, such as antibodies with associated RF absorption enhancers, such as metal particles. The antibodies (and other targeting moieties, discussed below) target and bind to specific target cells in the target area 130. Generally, antibodies (and other targeting moieties) can be directed against any target, e.g., tumor, bacterial, fungal, viral, parasitic, mycoplasmal, histocompatibility, differentiation and other cell membrane antigens, pathogen surface antigens, toxins, enzymes, allergens, drugs and any biologically active molecules. Binding RF enhancing particles to the antibodies (and other carriers having at least one targeting moiety) permits the injection of the antibodies (and other carriers having at least one targeting moiety) into the patient and the targeting of specific cells and other specific targets. Once a high enough concentration of RF enhancers 132 are attached to the target cells, the RF signal 120 is passed through the specific target area 130. The RF enhancers induce the absorption of more energy, creating a localized temperature in the specific target area 130 that is higher than the temperature created in the general target area 106. In addition, a combination of antibodies (and other carriers having at least one targeting moiety) bound to different metals (and other RF absorbing particles, discussed below) can be used allowing for variations in the RF absorption characteristics in localized areas of the target areas. These variations in RF absorption characteristics permit intentional uneven heating of the specific target area 130.

[0033] Targeted RF enhancers and general RF enhancers can be used to improve current RF capacitive heating devices as well as current RF ablation devices. Antibodies bound to metals, which can act as RF absorption enhancers in accordance with the teachings of the present application, can be obtained through commercially available channels.

[0034] Targeted RF enhancers and general RF enhancers are applicable for both in-vivo and in-vitro applications. In one in-vitro application the targeted RF enhancers and/or general RF enhancers are in introduced into the target area prior to the target area being removed from the patient. After the targeted RF enhancers and/or general RF enhancers bind to the target area, the target area is removed from the patient and treated with one or more RF signals. In another in-vitro application the target area is removed from the patient before the RF enhancers are introduced into the target area. Once the target area is in a suitable vessel, the targeted RF enhancers and/or general RF enhancers are introduced into the target area. The target area is then treated with one or more RF signals.

[0035] Optionally, multiple frequency RF signals 120 are used. Multiple frequency RF signals can be used to treat target areas. Multiple frequency RF signals allow the energy absorption rate and absorption rate in different locations of the target area to be more closely controlled. The multiple frequency signals can be combined into one signal, or by use of a multi-plated transmission head, or multiple transmission heads, can be directed at one or more specific regions in the target area. This is useful for treating target areas that have specific regions of various shapes, thicknesses and/or depths. Similarly, pulsed RF signals, variable frequency RF signals and other combinations or variations of the RF signals can be used to more precisely control and target the heating of the specific target areas. These and other methods of increasing RF absorption can be used independently or in any number of combinations to increase the energy absorption rate of the specific target area 130.

[0036] In addition, antibodies (or other targeting moieties) bound with magnetic particles (i.e., magnetic targeted RF enhancers) can be steered to specific locations using magnets or magnetic resonant imaging (MRI) machines. Thus, the magnetic targeted RF enhancers can be directed toward specific target area or target cells. Furthermore, once the magnetic targeted RF enhancers bind to the specific target cells, the target cells can be separated from the other cells by use of a magnetic force. The magnetic force can be either an attracting force, or a repelling force. Magnets or MRI machines can also be used to steer injected (or otherwise introduced) magnetic particles to specific locations. The magnetic general RF enhancers discussed above may also be directed toward a specific target area or target cells using a magnetic force from, e.g., a magnet or MRI machine.

[0037] Additionally, in accordance with the teachings above, a target of RF induced hyperthermia may be specific target cells and need not be limited to a specific region of a body. Certain cancers, e.g., blood cancers, do not necessarily manifest themselves in a localized region. As discussed above, targeted RF enhancers, will target specific cells and need not be localized. In the case of blood cancers, such as lymphoma, leukemia, and multiple myeloma, such targeted RF absorption enhancers (e.g., targeting moieties bound to RF absorbing particles) can be introduced into a patient and then a selected region of the body (or perhaps the entire body) can be irradiated with RF energy, with the RF absorption enhancers bound to the cells heating up and heating those cells more than cells without RF absorption enhancers bound to them.

[0038] The above discussion recites several different types of exemplary RF absorption enhancers for enhancing the RF absorption of a target area (which may be a tumor or a portion of a tumor or target cells or some other target), such as (i) solutions and/or suspensions introduced into a target area to enhance RF heating of the target area (general RF absorption enhancers) and (ii) antibodies (or other targeting moieties) bound to RF absorbing particles that are introduced into a patient and that target specific target cells to enhance RF heating of the targeted cells (targeted RF absorption enhancers). As discussed above, these and other RF absorption enhancers may be used independently or in any number of combinations to increase RF absorption of a target area. The targeted RF absorption enhancers discussed herein can be thought of as effectively changing the resonant frequency of the target cells, i.e., adding another, artificial frequency to the target cells (which may be a resonant frequency of RF absorbing particles), because the RF absorbing particles, which are bound to target cells via the targeting moieties, will absorb more RF energy and heat more quickly than the target cells will at that frequency. Thus, instead of trying to determine one or more resonant frequencies of target cells, the targeted RF absorption enhancers used in accordance with the systems and methods of the present invention may be used to effectively add an artificial frequency or frequencies to the target cells at whatever artificial frequency or frequencies are desired to create hyperthermia.

[0039] The targeted RF absorption enhancers discussed above have a portion that binds to one or more targets and an associated portion that absorbs RF energy relatively well, e.g., a carrier having a targeting moiety and attached to an RF absorbing particle. The general RF absorption enhancers may also have an associated portion that absorbs RF energy relatively well e.g., a non-targeted carrier attached to an RF absorbing particle or RF absorbing particles in solution or suspension. Several examples given above of such RF absorbing particles listed above include particles of electrically conductive material, such as metals, iron, various combination of metals, irons and metals, or magnetic particles. Other examples are given below. Of course, these particles may be sized as so-called "nanoparticles" (microscopic particles whose size is measured in nanometers, e.g., 1-1000 nm) or sized as so-called "microparticles" (microscopic particles whose size is measured in micrometers, e.g., 1-1000 .mu.m). If these particles are to be injected (or otherwise introduced) intravenously, such particles are preferably small enough to be bound to and carried with the at least one carrier to a target cell (e.g., in the patient's body) or target area (e.g., in the patient's body) via the patient's vascular system. In accordance with other exemplary embodiments of the present invention, other RF absorption enhancers may be used, e.g., using other carriers other than antibodies and/or using other RF absorbing particles than those specifically identified above.

[0040] Examples of such other carriers (both targeted and non-targeted) for RF absorption enhancers include any one or more of the following: biomolecules, biological cells, microparticle delivery systems, nanoparticle delivery systems, water-soluble polymers, other polymers, molecular or cellular proteomic or genomic structures, as well as other small particle constructs, including biological or robotic constructs, whether organic or from man-made materials, such as synthetic applied materials. Again, these carriers are attached to, or perhaps contain, RF absorbing particles to form RF absorption enhancers.

[0041] Exemplary biomolecules that may be used as carriers (both targeted and non-targeted) for RF absorption enhancers include any one or more of the following: organic molecules, nucleotides, proteins, antibodies, other specialized proteins, ligands, oligonucleotides, genetic material, nucleotides, DNA, RNA, viruses, retroviruses, organometallic molecules, proteins that are rapidly taken up by fast growing cells and tumors, transferrin, RGD (arg-gly-asp tripeptide) peptides, and NGR (asn-gly-arg tripeptide) peptides, folate, trasferrin, galactosamine, and GM-CSF (granulocyte macrophage colony stimulating factor). Herein, the term "organometallic molecule" (or just organometallics) means a molecule in which there is at least one bonding interaction (ionic or covalent, localized or delocalized) between one or more carbon atoms of an organic group or molecule and a main group, transition, lanthanide, or actinide metal atom (or atoms), and shall include organic derivatives of the metalloids (boron, silicon, germanium, arsenic, and tellurium), organic derivatives of all other metals and alloys, molecular metal hydrides; metal alkoxides, thiolates, amides, and phosphides; metal complexes containing organo-group 15 and 16 ligands; metal nitrosyls and similar others. Thus, in addition to being bound to separate RF absorbing particles to form RF absorption enhancers, some organometallic molecules may function as RF absorption enhancers by themselves, having both a carrier portion and an RF absorbing metallic portion. These organometallic molecules may be directly injected (or otherwise introduced) or may be attached to organic, biomolecular, biopolymer, molecular or cellular proteomic or genomic structures, or may be placed in biologic, robotic, or man-made synthetic applied materials. The application of organometallics in nuclear medicine (i.e. for the labeling of receptor binding biomolecules like steroid hormones or brain tracers) has been proposed in the literature. Technetium and radiogallium, typically used for medical imaging, can be modified with an organometallic. These biomolecules, organometallic technetium and organometallic radiogallium, could serve the dual function of imaging a tumor and be a radiofrequency enhancer because of their specific heat properties and imaging properties. Additionally, organometallic technetium and/or organometallic radiogallium may be bound to one or more different RF absorbing particles, e.g., bound to any one or more of virtually any of the RF absorbing particles described herein, to form RF absorption enhancers.

[0042] Exemplary biological cells (both targeted and non-targeted) that may be used as carriers for RF absorption enhancers include any one or more of the following: white blood cells, modified white cells, vaccine stimulated white cells, expanded white cells, T-cells, and tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). In general, these cells can be removed from a tumor or the circulating blood of a cancer patient and grown in tissue culture dishes or suspensions; thereafter, RF absorbing particles can be microinfused or absorbed into the cells to create RF absorption enhancers.

[0043] Exemplary microparticle and nanoparticle delivery systems (both targeted and non-targeted) that may be used as carriers for RF absorption enhancers include any one or more of the following: liposomes, immunoliposomes (liposomes bound to antibodies or antibody fragments or non-antibody ligand-targeting moieties), magnetic liposomes, glass beads, latex beads, other vesicles made from applied materials, organically modified silica (ORMOSIL) nanoparticles, synthetic biomaterial like silica modified particles and nanoparticles, other nanoparticles with the ability to take up DNA (or other substances) for delivery to cells, other nanoparticles that can act as a vector to transfer genetic material to a cell. Many of these can be directly taken up or otherwise internalized in the targeted cells. Liposomes are artificial microscopic vesicles used to convey substances--e.g., nucleic acids, DNA, RNA, vaccines, drugs, and enzymes--to target cells or organs. In the context of this application, liposomes may contain and carry RF absorbing particles (such as metal particles, organometalics, nanoparticles, etc.) to target cells or organs. These and other microparticle and nanoparticle delivery systems (both targeted and non-targeted) may be used to carry any one or combination of two or more of virtually any of the RF absorbing particles described herein, to form RF absorption enhancers. Exemplary polymers that may be used as carriers for RF absorption enhancers include any one or more of the following: dextran, albumin, and biodegradable polymers such as PLA (polylactide), PLGA polymers (polylactide with glycolide or poly(lactic acid-glycolic acid)), and/or hydroxypropylmethacrylamine (HPMA).

[0044] Other exemplary carriers for RF absorption enhancers include: molecular or cellular proteomic or genomic constructs, as well as other small particle constructs, including biological or robotic constructs, whether organic or from man-made materials, such as synthetic applied materials.

[0045] Targeted RF absorption enhancers are characterized by targeting and binding to target cells to thereby increase heating of target cells responsive to the RF signal by interaction between the RF signal and the targeted RF absorption enhancer. The target cells may be in an organ or a tumor or a portion of a tumor, or may be circulating or isolated cells, such as blood cells. Some targeted RF absorption enhancers may bind to the cell membrane or intracellular contents of (e.g., one or more biomolecules inside) the target cells. Some targeted RF absorption enhancers may bind to target cells by being taken up or otherwise internalized by the target cells. Some targeted RF absorption enhancers discussed herein can be thought of as effectively changing the resonant frequency of target cells, i.e., adding another, artificial frequency to the target cells (which may be a resonant frequency of RF absorbing particles), because the RF absorbing particles, which are bound to target cells via the targeting moieties, will absorb more RF energy and heat more quickly than the target cells will at that frequency. For targeted RF absorption enhancers, carriers with a targeting moiety for targeting and binding to a target cells ("targeted carriers") are attached (either directly or indirectly) to any of the RF absorbing particles described herein and introduced into the patient prior to transmitting the RF signal to create hyperthermia. Some targeted carriers for RF absorption enhancers (e.g., antibodies, ligands, and TILs) inherently have targeting moieties for targeting some part of target cells. Other RF absorption enhancer carriers (e.g., liposomes) may need to be modified to be targeting carriers by attaching one or more target moieties for targeting some part of target cells, e.g., immunoliposomes, which are liposomes bound to antibodies or antibody fragments or non-antibody ligand-targeting moieties. Some targeted carriers (e.g., antibodies, ligands, and antibody fragments) target one or more "target biomolecules" of target cells and bind to the target cells. The term "target biomolecules" as used herein means a molecular structure within a target cell or on the surface of a target cell characterized by selective binding of one or more specific substances. The term "target biomolecules" includes, by way of example but not of limitation, cell surface receptors, tumor-specific markers, tumor-associated tissue markers, target cell markers, or target cell identifiers, such as CD markers, an interleukin receptor site of cancer cells, and other biomolecules to which another molecule, e.g. a ligand, antibody, antibody fragment, cell adhesion site, biopolymer, synthetic biomaterial, sugar, lipid, or other proteomic or genetic engineered constructs including recombinant technique, binds. Examples of targeted carriers and other targeting moieties that can be used to create targeted RF absorption enhancer carriers include: bivalent constructs, bispecific constructs, fusion proteins; antibodies; antibody fragments; non-antibody ligands; and non-antibody targeting moieties (e.g., GM-CSF which targets to GM-CSF receptor in leukemic blasts or Galactosamine which targets endothelial growth factor receptors in the vessels).

[0046] Tumors may produce antigens recognized by antibodies. There are currently trials of antibodies and antibody fragments for virtually all cancers and others are being developed. Tumors often express high levels and/or abnormal forms of glycoproteins and glycolipids. Antibodies are known to target these (e.g., Anti-MUC-1 for targeting breast or ovarian cancer). Oncofetal antigens are also produced by some tumors. Antibodies are known to target these (e.g., anti-TAG72 [anti-tumor-associated glycoprotein-72] for targeting colonrectal, ovarian and breast cancer or anti-CEA [anti-carcinoembryonic antigen] for targeting colon-rectal, small-cell lung and ovarian cancers). Tissue specific antigens have also been targeted. Antibodies are known to target these (e.g., anti-CD25 for targeting interleukin-2 receptor in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma). The rapid production of blood vessels in tumors presents another target. Antibodies are known to target these (anti-VEGR [anti-vascular endothelial growth-factor receptor] for targeting endothelial cells in solid tumors. These are but a few examples of the antibodies have already been used as ligands in targeted therapy to which the present RF enhancers could be attached. Any one or more of the RF absorbing particles disclosed herein can be attached (directly or indirectly) to any of these antibodies and antibody fragments (and any others) to form substances that may be used as targeted RF absorption enhancers in connection with hyperthermia generating RF signals in accordance with the teachings herein.

[0047] Other examples of known ligand antibodies are the monoclonal antibodytrastuzumab (Herceptin) which targets to ERBB2 receptor in cells that over-express this receptor such as breast and ovarian cancers or rituximab an anti-CD 20 which targets cell surface antigen in non-hodgkin's lymphoma and other b-cell lymphoproliferative diseases. Any one or more of the RF absorbing particles can be attached (directly or indirectly) to any of these antibodies and antibody fragments (and any others) to form substances that may be used as targeted RF absorption enhancers in connection with hyperthermia generating RF signals in accordance with the teachings herein.

[0048] For general RF absorption enhancers, non-targeted carriers, such as certain biomolecules, oligonucleotides, certain cells (such as cells having general adhesive molecules on their surfaces that are less specific than ligands and antibodies, which general adhesive molecules may attach to many different types of cells), etc. may be attached (either directly or indirectly) to any of the RF absorbing particles described herein and injected (or otherwise introduced) prior to transmitting the RF signal to create hyperthermia. Nanoparticles having oligonucleotides attached thereto, such as DNA sequences attached to gold nanoparticles, are available from various sources, e.g., Nanosphere, Inc., Northbrook, Ill. 60062, U.S. Pat. No. 6,777,186.

[0049] RF absorbing particles are particles that absorb one or more frequencies of an RF electromagnetic signal substantially more than untreated cells in or proximate the target area. This permits the RF signal to heat the RF absorbing particle (or a region surrounding it or a cell near it) substantially more than untreated cells in or proximate the target area, e.g., heating the RF absorbing particles (or a region surrounding them or a cell near them) with the RF signal to a temperature high enough to kill target cells bound to them (or damage the membrane of target cells bound to them), while untreated cells in or proximate the target area are not heated with the RF signal to a temperature high enough to kill them. Exemplary target hyperthermia temperatures include values at about or at least about: 43.degree. C, 106.3.degree. F., 106.5.degree. F., and 106.7.degree. F., and 107.degree. F. It may also be desirable to generate a lower hyperthermia temperature (e.g., any temperature above 103.degree., or above 104.degree., or above 105.degree.) which may not directly cause necrosis from hyperthermia within the target area, but may kill or damage cells in the target area in combination with another therapy, e.g., chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy and/or radioimmunotherapy. Pulsed RF signals may produce very localized temperatures that are higher. Exemplary RF absorbing particles mentioned above include particles of electrically conductive material, such as gold, copper, magnesium, iron, any of the other metals, and/or magnetic particles, or various combinations and permutations of gold, iron, any of the other metals, and/or magnetic particles. Examples of other RF absorbing particles for general RF absorption enhancers and/or targeted RF absorption enhancers include: metal tubules, particles made of piezoelectric crystal (natural or synthetic), very small LC circuits (e.g., parallel LC tank circuits, FIGS. 24 and 30), tuned radio frequency (TRF) type circuits (e.g., a parallel LC tank circuit having an additional inductor with a free end connected to one of the two nodes of the tank circuit, FIGS. 27 and 31), other very small tuned (oscillatory) circuits (e.g., FIGS. 25, 26, 28, 29, and 32-33), hollow particles (e.g., liposomes, magnetic liposomes, glass beads, latex beads, other vesicles made from applied materials, microparticles, microspheres, etc.) containing other substances (e.g., small particles containing argon or some other inert gas or other substance that has a relatively high absorption of electromagnetic energy), particles of radioactive isotopes suitable for radiotherapy or radioimmunotherapy (e.g., radiometals, .beta.-emitting lanthanides, radionuclides of copper, radionuclides of gold, copper-67, copper-64, lutetium-177, yttrium-90, bismuth-213, rhenium-186, rhenium-188, actinium-225, gold-127, gold-128, In-111, P-32, Pd-103, Sm-153, TC-99m, Rh-105, Astatine-211, Au-199, Pm-149, Ho-166, and Thallium-201 thallous chloride), organometallics (e.g., those containing Technetium 99m and radiogallium), particles made of synthetic materials, particles made of biologic materials, robotic particles, particles made of man made applied materials, like organically modified silica (ORMOSIL) nanoparticles. These particles may be sized as so-called "nanoparticles" (microscopic particles whose size is measured in nanometers, e.g., 1-1000 nm) or sized as so-called "microparticles" (microscopic particles whose size is measured in micrometers, e.g., 1-1000 .mu.m). These particles are preferably small enough to be bound to and carried with the at least one biomolecule to a target cell via the patient's vascular system. For example, gold nanospheres having a nominal diameter of 3-37 nm, plus or minus 5 nm may used as RF absorption enhancer particles. Some of the radioactive isotopes are inserted as "seeds" and may serve as RF absorption enhancers, e.g., palladium-103, to heat up a target area in the presence of an RF signal.

[0050] In the case of the particles of radioactive isotopes used for various treatments, e.g., to treat cancer, a multi-step combination therapy can be used in accordance with the teachings hereof. In a first phase, targeted carriers (either carriers with an inherent targeting moiety or non-targeting carriers with a targeting moiety attached thereto) are attached to one or more RF absorbing radionuclides, such as any of the radiometals mentioned herein, are introduced into the patient, target specific cells, and emissions (e.g., alpha emissions and/or beta emissions and/or Auger electron emissions) therefrom damage or kill the targeted cells. This first phase may include the introduction of other radiometal-labeled antibodies that may act as RF absorption enhancers but that do not have cell damaging emissions, e.g., radiometals used primarily for imaging. This first phase, in the context of certain antibodies and certain radioisotopes, is known to those skilled in the art. Thereafter, in a second phase according to the present invention, an RF signal is transmitted in accordance with the teachings herein to generate a localized hyperthermia at the targeted cells by using the radioisotope particles (which may be partially depleted) as RF absorption enhancing particles. Such a two-phase therapy may result in enhanced treatment effectiveness vis-a-vis traditional radioimmunotherapy with the addition of the second RF-induced hyperthermia phase. In the alternative, such a two-phase therapy may result in about the same treatment effectiveness vis-a-vis traditional radioimmunotherapy by using a lower dose of radioisotope emissions in the first phase (some radioisotopes can cause severe damage to tissue, e.g., bone marrow, during radiotherapy) with the addition of the second RF-induced hyperthermia phase. Between the two phases, one may wait for a predetermined period of time, e.g., a period of time based on the half-life of emissions from a particular radiometal used, or a period of time based on a patient recovery time after the first phase, or a period of time based on the ability of one or more non-targeted organs (e.g., the liver or kidneys) to excrete, metabolize, or otherwise eliminate the radioimmunotherapy compound(s). In this regard, it may be beneficial for this multiphase therapy to use radiometals or other RF absorbing radionuclides with a relatively high residualization in target cells. This may help prevent damage to non-targeted organs and cells by permitting them to excrete, metabolize, or otherwise eliminate the radioimmunotherapy compound(s) prior to coupling a hyperthermia generating RF signal using the radioimmunotherapy compound as an RF enhancer. For example, a patient treated with Yttrium-90 (Y-90) ibritumomab tiuxetan (Y-90 ZEVALIN.RTM.) (which is used to treat b-cell lymphomas and leukemias) in accordance with known protocols, and also perhaps injected with Indium-111 (In-111) ibritumomab tiuxetan (In-111 ZEVALIN.RTM.) (which is used for imaging in connection with rituximab treatments), may also thereafter have a hyperthermia-generating RF signal coupled through a body part to heat the cells targeted by the Y-90 ZEVALIN.RTM. and/or the (In-111 ZEVALIN.RTM.). Particles of radioactive isotopes used to treat cancer, either attached to biomolecules or not, can be obtained from various commercial sources. Radiometals can be attached to monoclonal antibodies, e.g., 90-Yttrium-ibritumomab tiuxetan [Zevalin] or 131-iodine-tositumomab (Bexxar) target anti-CD 20 antigens and are used for lymphomas. Radiofrequency can produce an added effect with these metals.

[0051] Very small LC circuits and other tuned (oscillatory) circuits were mentioned above as exemplary RF absorbing particles. The very small LC circuits and other tuned (oscillatory) circuits (FIGS. 24-29) may damage target cells with vibration (i.e., heating) when a signal at or near the resonant frequency of the tuned circuit is received. Additionally, or in the alternative, there may be direct radio frequency ablation to the cell from RF energy absorbed by tuned circuit RF absorbing particles, which current may be transferred to target cells via one or more metal connections of the tuned circuit particles to the cell membrane or cell itself (see the discussion below with respect to the at least one exposed electrical contact 2502 and the encapsulating electrically conducting material).

[0052] For purposes of the present application, virtually any of the carriers (targeted or non-targeted) for RF absorption enhancers described herein may be attached (either directly or indirectly) to virtually any RF absorbing particle described herein and/or virtually any combination of and/or permutation of any RF absorbing particles described herein to form any one or more RF absorption enhancers. For example, antibody carriers may be bound to (or otherwise carry) one or more piezoelectric crystals, tuned electronic circuits, tuned RF (TRF) circuits, TRF circuits having a rectifier D (FIG. 29), LC tank circuits, LC tank circuits having a rectifier D (FIG. 26), metallic particles, and/or metallic nanoparticles. As other examples, TIL carriers may be attached to or contain an organometallic or TRF or any other of the microscopic electronic circuit particles, RNA or DNA carriers may be attached to organometallic molecules acting as RF absorbers, antibody carriers may be attached to organometallic molecules acting as RF absorbers, metals (e.g., iron) may be attached to transferrin, liposomes may contain RF absorbing particles, immunoliposomes (liposomes bound to antibodies or antibody fragments or non-antibody ligand-targeting moieties) may contain RF absorbing particles, immunopolymers (microreservoirs) formed by linking therapeutic agents and targeting ligands to separate sites on water-soluble biodegradable polymers, such as HPMA, PLA, PLGA, albumin, and dextran, may be used to form RF absorption enhancers by attaching to an RF absorbing particle and a targeting moiety (antibody or non-antibody), those formed by the attachment of multivalent arrays of antibodies, antibody fragments, or other ligands to the liposome surface or to the terminus of hydropic polymers, such as polyethylene glycol (PEG), which are grafted at the liposome surface) may contain RF absorbing particles, dextran may have metallic particles and targeting peptides attached to it, polymers of HPMA can have targeting peptides and metallic particles attached, liposomes may carry metallic or thermally conductive synthetic biomaterials inside, immunoliposomes may carry metallic or thermally conductive synthetic biomaterials inside, monoclonal antibodies and metals, monoclonal antibodies and radioisotopes like Zevalin, antibody fragments and organometallics, antibody fragments and radioisotopes, fusion proteins and organometallics, fusion proteins and radioisotopes, bispecifics and metals or organometallics, bispecifics and bivalents constructs and radioisotopes. Since tumor penetration is often hampered by particle size, reductionistic engineering techniques that create smaller proteomic and genomic constructs and recombinations which are more tumor-specific will be able to carry RF absorption enhancers. As other examples, microparticle and nanoparticle delivery systems (both targeted and non-targeted) and any of the other carriers herein may carry two or more different RF absorbing particles, e.g., metallic particles of two different sizes, metallic particles and electronic circuits, metallic particles and an RF absorbing gas, electronic circuits and an RF absorbing gas, etc. Such combinations of RF absorbing particles may provide enhanced absorption at two different frequencies, e.g., two different resonant frequencies, or a resonant frequency and a frequency range (as one might see with a tuned RF circuit absorbing particle combined with a general particle, such as a metal particle), which may facilitate multi-level treatments at multiple tissue depths.

[0053] Additionally, virtually any of the foregoing RF absorbing particles may be partially encapsulated or fully encapsulated in a carrier or other encapsulating structure such as: glass beads, latex beads, liposomes, magnetic liposomes, other vesicles made from applied materials, etc. As exemplified by the tank circuit of FIG. 25 and the TRF circuit of FIG. 28, RF absorbing particles in the form of a tuned circuit may be partially encapsulated in an electrically insulating material 2500 (e.g., a glass or latex bead) and have at least one exposed electrical contact 2502 in circuit communication with the rectifier D for contact with biological material in the target area. In the alternative, RF absorbing particles in the form of a tuned circuit may be encapsulated in an electrically conducting material in circuit communication with the rectifier for contact with biological material in the target area. Similarly, as exemplified by the rectifying tank circuit of FIG. 26 and the rectifying TRF circuit of FIG. 29, RF absorbing particles having a rectifier D to rectify a received RF signal may be partially encapsulated in an electrically insulating material 2500 and have at least one exposed electrical contact 2502 in circuit communication with the rectifier D for contact with biological material in the target area to provide a path for rectified current to flow and perhaps damage cells and/or heat cells in the target area. In the alternative, RF absorbing particles having a rectifier to rectify a received RF signal may be encapsulated in an electrically conducting material in circuit communication with the rectifier for contact with biological material in the target area to provide a path for rectified current to flow and perhaps damage cells and/or heat cells in the target area. These may be fabricated using standard monolithic circuit fabrication techniques and/or thin film fabrication techniques. Various techniques for fabricating microscopic spiral inductors of FIGS. 24-29 using monolithic circuit fabrication techniques and/or thin film fabrication techniques are known, e.g., U.S. Pat. Nos. 4,297,647; 5,070,317; 5,071,509; 5,370,766; 5,450,263; 6,008,713; and 6,242,791. Capacitors and rectifiers D may also be fabricated using monolithic circuit fabrication techniques and/or thin film fabrication techniques (e.g., with a pair of conductive layers with a dielectric therebetween and a P-N junction, respectively). Thus, it is believed that the microscopic (preferably microparticle or nanoparticle) circuits of FIGS. 24-29 may be fabricated using known monolithic circuit fabrication techniques and/or thin film fabrication techniques. FIGS. 30-33 show exemplary embodiments of some exemplary tuned (oscillatory) circuit particles. FIG. 30 shows an exemplary embodiment 3000 of an LC particle of FIG. 25. The exemplary LC particle 3000 comprises a substrate 3002 carrying an inductor 3004 in circuit communication with a capacitor 3006 via conductive traces 3008, 3010. The inductor 3004 may be a spiral 3020 of electrically conductive material. The capacitor 3006 may be formed from two spaced plates 3022, 3024 of electrically conductive material with a dielectric (not shown) therebetween. Plate 3022 and conductive path 3008 are shown as at a lower level than plate 3024 and inductor 3020. Conductive path 3008 is connected to inductor 3020 with a via 3021. The encapsulating electrically insulating material 2500 in FIG. 20 may be implemented by a layer of electrically insulating material 3026 covering at least the inductor 3004 and the capacitor 3006 above in cooperation with the substrate 3002 below. The exposed electrical contact 2502 in FIG. 25 may be implemented as an exposed pad 3030 of conductive material. FIG. 31 shows an exemplary embodiment 3100 of a TRF circuit of FIG. 28. Particle 3100 may be the same as particle 3000, except particle 3100 has an additional inductor 3102. The inductor 3102 may be a spiral 3104 of electrically conductive material, in circuit communication by a via 3106 with the node 3008 connecting inductor 3004 and capacitor 3006. FIG. 32 shows an exemplary embodiment 3200 of a rectifying tank circuit 3200 of FIG. 26. Particle 3200 may be the same as particle 3000, except particle 3200 has a rectifier 3202. Rectifier 3202 may be implemented with a n-type semiconductor region (or a p-type region) 3204 in circuit communication with a p-type region (or an n-type region) 3206 as known to those in the art. The node 3010 connecting inductor 3004 and capacitor 3006 may be connected to rectifier 3202 at via 3208. Similarly, the exposed pad 3030 may be connected to rectifier 3202 at via 3210. FIG. 33 shows an exemplary embodiment 3300 of a rectifying TRF circuit of FIG. 28. Particle 3300 may be the same as particle 3100, except particle 3300 has a rectifier 3202. As with the rectifier in FIG. 32, rectifier 3202 may be implemented with an n-type semiconductor region (or a p-type region) 3204 in circuit communication with a p-type region (or an n-type region) 3206 as known to those in the art. The node 3010 connecting inductor 3004 and capacitor 3006 may be connected to rectifier 3202 at via 3208. Similarly, the exposed pad 3030 may be connected to rectifier 3202 at via 3210. The particles made of piezoelectric crystal can be obtained from various commercial sources, e.g., Bliley Technologies, Inc., Erie, Pa. Gases in the noble gas family, e.g., neon, argon, etc., exhibit relatively large excitation at relatively low RF signal strengths. The small particles containing argon can be obtained from various commercial sources.

[0054] Various means for getting the RF absorption enhancers of the present invention to the targeted cell site are contemplated. RF absorption enhancers may be introduced as part of a fluid directly into the tumor (e.g., by injection), introduced as part of such a fluid into the patient's circulation (e.g., by injection), mixed with the cells outside the body (ex-vivo), inserted into target cells with micropipettes. Nanoparticle RF absorption enhancers may be introduced by aerosol inhalers, sublinqual and mucosal absorption, lotions and creams, and skin patches. RF absorption enhancers may be directly injected into a patient by means of a needle and syringe. In the alternative, they may be injected into a patient via a catheter or a port. They may be injected directly into a target area, e.g., a tumor or a portion of a tumor. In the alternative, they may be injected via an intravenous (IV) system to be carried to a target cell via the patient's vascular system. RF absorption enhancers of the present invention may bind with the cell surface, bind to a target cell wall (e.g., those using monoclonal antibodies as a carrier) or be internalized by the cells (e.g., those using liposomes and nanoparticles as a carrier). Certain RF absorption enhancers of the present invention (e.g., those using TILs as a carrier) may be internalized by target cells. Additionally, it may be desirable to surgically-place certain RF absorption enhancers in a patient, e.g., metallic radioactive "seeds."

[0055] RF hyperthermia generating signal may have a frequency corresponding to a selected parameter of an RF enhancer, e.g., 13.56 MHz, 27.12 MHz, 915 MHz, 1.2 GHz. Several RF frequencies have been allocated for industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) equipment, e.g.: 6.78 MHz.+-.15.0 kHz; 13.56 MHz.+-.7.0 kHz; 27.12 MHz.+-.163.0 kHz; 40.68 MHz.+-.20.0 kHz; 915 MHz.+-.13.0 MHz; 2450 MHz.+-.50.0 MHz. See Part 18 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations. It is believed that hyperthermia generating RF signals at sequentially higher frequency harmonics of 13.56 MHz will penetrate into respectively deeper tissue, e.g., a hyperthermia generating RF signal at 27.12 MHz will penetrate deeper than at 13.56 MHz, a hyperthermia generating RF signal at 40.68 MHz will penetrate deeper than at 27.12 MHz, a hyperthermia generating RF signal at 54.24 MHz will penetrate deeper than at 40.68 MHz, a hyperthermia generating RF signal at 67.80 MHz will penetrate deeper than at 54.24 MHz, a hyperthermia generating RF signal at 81.36 MHz will penetrate deeper than at 67.80 MHz, and so on (up to higher RF frequencies that may heat the skin uncomfortably or burn the skin). The optimum depth level is selected based upon antibodies used, and the physical size of the patient, the location and depth of the target area, and the tumor involved. As discussed above, combinations of two or more different frequencies may be used, e.g., a lower frequency RF component (such as 13.56 MHz) and a higher frequency component (such as 40.68 MHz) to target different tissue depths with the same hyperthermia generating RF signal.

[0056] Some of the exemplary particles shown comprise a rectifier D, e.g., FIGS. 26, 29, 32 and 33. Any of the RF absorption enhancer particles disclosed herein may also comprise an associated rectifier or demodulator (e.g., a diode or crystal in circuit communication with an oscillatory circuit) on some or all of the particles to cause rectification of the RF signal and thereby generate a DC current to damage the target cell(s) (in the case of targeted RF absorption enhancers) and/or cells in the target area (in the case of general RF absorption enhancers). Thus, for example, the particles may have an LC tank circuit with a diode (FIG. 26), a TRF (Tuned Radio Frequency) type circuit implemented thereon with a diode (FIG. 29) or a piezoelectric crystal with a diode. Such RF absorption enhancer particles may require the patient to be grounded, e.g., with a grounded lead pad, to provide a current path for the rectified RF current. These examples immediately above may be thought of as being similar to a simple TRF crystal set, which was powered only by a received RF signal and could demodulate the received signal and generate enough energy to power a high-impedance earphone with no outside power source other than the signal from the radio station. With the particles of the present application, the addition of a diode to these circuits may cause DC currents to flow within the target area and/or within and/or between the target cells responsive to the RF signal causing additional heating effect to generate the desired hyperthermia temperature, e.g., 43.degree. C. The rectifier in any of these particles may be a single diode in either polarity (for half-wave rectification of the received RF signal) or a pair of diodes with opposite polarity (for full wave rectification of the RF signal).

[0057] Any of the RF absorbing particles described herein may be used alone or in virtually any combination of and/or permutation of any of the other particle or particles described herein. For example, it may be beneficial to use the same targeted carrier or targeting moiety with a plurality of different RF absorbing particles described herein for treatment of a target area. Similarly, any of the RF absorbing particles described herein may be used alone or in virtually any combination of and/or permutation of any of the targeting moieties or targeted carriers described herein. Similarly, it may be best for some target areas (e.g., some tumors) to use multiple different targeting moieties or targeted carriers in RF absorption enhancers, e.g., for a malignancy that may have different mutations within itself. Accordingly, virtually any combination or permutation of RF absorption enhancer targeting moieties or RF absorption enhancer targeted carriers may be attached to virtually any combination of and/or permutation of any RF absorbing particle or particles described herein to create RF absorption enhancers for use in accordance with the teachings herein.

[0058] Of the RF absorbing particles mentioned herein, some may be suitable for a 13.56 MHz hyperthermia-generating RF signal, e.g., gold nanoparticles, copper nanoparticles, magnesium nanoparticles, argon-filled beads, aqueous solutions of any of the metal sulfates mentioned herein, other hollow nanoparticles filled with argon, and any of the organometallics. RF absorption enhancers using these RF absorbing particles are also expected to be effective at slightly higher frequencies, such as those having a frequency on the order of the second or third harmonics of 13.56 MHz.

[0059] Some of the particles used in general RF absorption enhancers and/or targeted RF absorption enhancers may have one or more resonant frequencies associated therewith such that RF energy or other electromagnetic energy at that resonant frequency causes much greater heating of the particle than other frequencies. Thus, in accordance with the systems and methods of the present invention, it may be beneficial to match one or more resonant frequencies of RF absorption enhancer particles (general and/or targeted) with one or more of the electromagnetic frequencies being used to create hyperthermia. Additionally, the size of nanoparticles can vary to within certain manufacturing tolerances, with generally increased cost for a significantly smaller manufacturing tolerance. Thus, for a single frequency being used to create hyperthermia, there may be a nominal size of nanoparticles associated with that one frequency (e.g., a nominal size of nanoparticles having a resonant frequency at that frequency); however, the cost of manufacturing nanoparticles only at that one size might be prohibitively high. Consequently, from a cost standpoint, it might be beneficial (i.e., lower cost) to use nanoparticles with a larger size tolerance as RF absorption enhancer particles; however, the particles within a sample of nanoparticles with a larger size tolerance may have widely different resonant frequencies. Accordingly, it may be beneficial to use a frequency modulated (FM) signal to create hyperthermia with certain energy absorption enhancer particles. The parameters of the FM signal used to generate hyperthermia may be selected to correspond to the specific sample of particles being used as energy absorption enhancer particles. The center frequency of an FM hyperthermia generating signal may correspond to a resonant frequency of nominally sized particles used as energy absorption enhancer particles and the modulation of the FM hyperthermia generating signal may correspond to the size tolerance of the particles used as energy absorption enhancer particles. For example, a hyperthermia generating RF signal may be modulated with an FM signal having a frequency deviation of 300-500 KHz or more, and any particles having a resonant frequency within the FM deviation would vibrate and cause heating. Targeted RF absorption enhancer particles used in accordance with an FM signal used to generate hyperthermia can be thought of as effectively changing the resonant frequency range of the target cells, i.e., adding a resonant frequency range to the target cells. Thus, instead of trying to determine one or more resonant frequency ranges of target cells, in accordance with the systems and methods of the present invention the resonant frequency range of target cells may be effectively changed to whatever frequency range is desired to create hyperthermia. With all the embodiments described herein, one may select a frequency or frequency range for a signal used to generate hyperthermia that corresponds to a parameter of energy enhancing particles, or one may select energy enhancing particles corresponding to a frequency or frequency range for a signal used to generate hyperthermia. It may be beneficial to modify other existing thermotherapy devices to use the FM hyperthermia generating RF signal discussed herein. Similarly, it may be beneficial to modify other existing thermotherapy therapies to use the FM hyperthermia generating RF signal discussed herein.

[0060] Additionally, in any of the embodiments discussed herein, the RF signal used to generate hyperthermia may be a pulsed, modulated FM RF signal, or a pulse fixed frequency signal. A pulsed signal may permit a relatively higher peak-power level (e.g., a single "burst" pulse at 1000 Watts or more, or a 1000 Watt signal having a duty cycle of about 10% to about 25%) and may create higher local temperatures at RF absorption enhancer particles (i.e., higher than about 43.degree. C.) without also raising the temperature that high and causing detrimental effects to surrounding cells (for targeted enhancers) or surrounding areas (for general enhancers).

[0061] Several systems can be used to remotely determine temperature within a body using sensors or using radiographic means with infrared thermography and thermal MRI. Such remotely determined temperature may be used as feedback to control the power of the signal being delivered to generate hyperthermia. For example, a temperature remotely measured can be used as an input signal for a controller (e.g., a PID controller or a proportional controller or a proportional-integral controller) to control the power of the hyperthermia-generating signal to maintain the generated temperature at a specific temperature setpoint, e.g., 43.degree. C.

[0062] Similarly, the location of certain radioisotopes can be remotely determined using radiographic means for imaging of radioimmunotherapy. Accordingly, in any of the embodiments discussed herein, RF absorption enhancers may have substances (such as certain radioisotopes, quantum dots, colored dyes, fluorescent dyes, etc.) added or attached thereto that, when introduced with the RF absorption enhancers, can be used to remotely determine the location of RF absorption enhancers, i.e., the location of the substances can be determined and the location of RF absorption enhancers can be inferred therefrom. In the alternative, these substances can be introduced before or after RF absorption enhancers are introduced and used to remotely determine the location of the RF absorption enhancers. Examples of radioisotopes the location of which can be monitored in a body (e.g., with CT scanners, PET scanners, and other systems capable of detecting particles emitted by such substances) include: technetium 99m, radiogallium, 2FDG (18-F-2-deoxyglucose or 18-F-2-fluorodeoxyglucose) (for PET scans), iodine-131, positron-emitting Iodine 124, copper-67, copper-64, lutetium-177, bismuth-213, rhenium-186, actinium-225, In-111, iodine-123, iodine-131, any one or more of which may be added to RF absorption enhancers. Some of these, e.g., technetium 99m, radiogallium, 2FDG, iodine-131, copper-67, copper-64, lutetium-177, bismuth-213, rhenium-186, actinium-225, and In-111 may also absorb a significant amount of RF energy and therefore function as RF absorption enhancing particles, absorbing RF energy sufficient to raise the temperature of target cells or a target area to a desired temperature level and permitting remote location determination. Such determined location can be used to provide feedback of the location of general or targeted RF absorption enhancers to know which regions of an area or body will be heated by a hyperthermia generating RF signal. For example, the location of these particles (and by inference the location of targeted RF absorption enhancers) can be periodically determined, i.e., monitored, and the hyperthermia generating RF signal applied when enough of the targeted RF absorption enhancers are in a desired location. As another example, the location of these particles (and by inference the location of general or targeted RF absorption enhancers) can be periodically determined, i.e., monitored, and the hyperthermia generating RF signal ceased when the RF absorption enhancers have diffused too much or have moved from a predetermined location. Thus, the location of RF absorption enhancers may be determined via PET scanners, CT scanners, X-ray devices, mass spectroscopy or specialized CT scanners (e.g., Phillips Brilliance CT), and/or infrared, near infrared, thermal MRIs and other optical and/or thermal scanners. For PET scans, exemplary known imaging/treatment substances include: (a) antibodies (or targeting peptides) linked to PET radiometals linked to a cytoxic agent and (b) antibodies (or targeting peptides) linked to PET radiometals linked to beta emitting radionucleotides. In accordance with the teachings herein, one or more RF absorbing particles may be added to these substances (or in the alternative one or more RF absorbing particles may replace either the cytoxic agent or the beta emitting radionucleotides) for combined PET imaging with RF generated hyperthermia. Thus, these phage display antibodies attached to PET radiometals may also be attached to any one or more of the RF absorbing particles discussed herein. This combination of imaging and RF hyperthermia therapy may be accomplished with PET, infrared, near infrared, and MRI.

[0063] Imaging techniques can be used to guide the injection (or other introduction) of RF absorption enhancers into a tumor, e.g., a tumor or a portion of a tumor. After injection, a hyperthermia generating RF signal is applied to the target area and thermal imaging can be used to monitor the heat being generated by the RF signal and perhaps directly control the power of the RF signal. Thereafter, follow-up 3-D imaging using traditional methods can be used to determine the results of the hyperthermia. Additionally, imaging combinations are contemplated for imaging of RF absorption enhancers, e.g., using thermal imaging, colored dyes, quantum dots.

[0064] Several substances have been described as being injected into a patient, e.g., general RF absorption enhancers, targeted RF absorption enhancers, radioisotopes for remotely determining temperature, radioisotopes capable of being remotely located, etc. It is expected that some or all of these will be injected using a syringe with a needle. The needle may be removed from the patient after injection and before the RF signal is applied to generate hyperthermia. In the alternative, a needle used to inject one or more of the foregoing may be left in place and used as an RF absorption enhancer, i.e., a needle can be made from any number of selected that will heat in the presence of an RF signal. Thus, an ordinary needle may be used as an RF absorption enhancer. Additionally, a needle can be altered to resonate at a selected frequency of an RF hyperthermia-generating signal, which will cause it to heat faster. For example, the tip of a needle can be modified to include a quarter-wave coil, e.g., at the tip of the needle. For example, at an RF frequency of about 13.56 MHz, about six (6) turns of 22 or 24 gauge wire wrapped around the tip of a needle (and perhaps covered with an electrical insulator, e.g., an enamel coating) may greatly enhance RF absorption at the needle tip, effectively creating a hot spot at the tip of the needle subjected to an RF signal. Additionally, or in the alternative, a needle used to inject one or more RF absorption enhancers may have a temperature sensor at its tip in circuit communication with external circuitry to determine a temperature of a target region. As discussed above, this determined temperature may be used to control the power of the RF signal to maintain a desired temperature of a target region.

[0065] Viruses (and liposomes and perhaps other carriers) may also be used to improve receptivity of target cells and target areas to targeted RF absorption enhancers, e.g., by having a virus (and/or liposomes and/or another carrier) carry a gene (or other biomolecule) for production of a protein that would be incorporated on the surface of a target cell, making the target cell more identifiable and easily attached by a targeted RF enhancer. For example, a patient may be infected with a virus by removing the cells from the body, growing and increasing their number in a tissue culture, infecting the cells outside the body (ex-vivo), and then inserting them back into the patient. Or the virus may be introduced directly into the body (in-vivo) or into the tumor. Additionally, a virus with such a targeting gene may also be delivered to a target cell by other means, e.g., liposomes or microinfusion. Once the target cell produces the protein that is incorporated to the surface membrane, a dose of a targeted RF absorption enhancer is introduced into the body and the targeted carrier thereof will target and attach to the new protein on the target cell membrane. After waiting for a significant number of the targeted RF absorption enhancers to attach to the new protein, a hyperthermia generating RF signal is transmitted into the target area and the target cells are given a lethal dose of heat or a dose of heat to augment other therapies.

[0066] Referring once again to the figures, FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary embodiment having an RF transmitter 200 in circuit communication with transmission head 218 that transmits an RF signal 270 through a target area 280 to a reception head 268 in circuit communication with an RF receiver 250. The RF transmitter 200 is a multi-frequency transmitter and includes a first RF signal generator 204. The first RF signal generator 204 generates a first signal at a first frequency F1, such as a 16 megahertz frequency. The first RF signal generator 204 is in circuit communications with band pass filter B.P. 1 206, which is in circuit communication with an RF combination circuit 212. Band pass filter B.P. 1 206 is a unidirectional band pass filter that prevents signals at other frequencies from reaching first RF signal generator 204.

[0067] RF transmitter 200 includes a second RF signal generator 208. Second RF signal generator 208 generates a second signal at a second frequency F2, such as, for example a 6 megahertz signal. Second signal generator 208 is in circuit communication with band pass filter B.P. 2 210, which is also in circuit communication with the RF combination circuit 212. Band pass filter B.P. 2 210 prevents signals at other frequencies from reaching second RF signal generator 208. Optionally, RF combination circuit 212 includes circuitry to prevent the first and second signals from flowing toward the other signal generators and thus eliminates the need for band pass filter B.P. 1 206 and band pass filter B.P. 2 210.

[0068] RF combination circuit 212 combines the first and second signal at frequency F1 and frequency F2 and outputs RF signal 270. Preferably, RF combination circuit 212 is in circuit communication with first meter 214. First meter 214 is used to detect the signal strength of RF signal 270. The RF signal 270 is transmitted via transmission head 218 through the target 280 to reception head 268. Optionally, plug type connectors 216, 266 are provided allowing for easy connection/disconnection of transmission head 218, and reception head 268 respectfully. Reception head 268 is preferably in circuit communications with a second meter 264. Second meter 264 detects the RF signal strength received by the reception head 268. The difference in RF signal strength between first meter 214 and second meter 264 can be used to calculate energy absorbed by the target area 280. Reception head 268 is also in circuit communication with an RF splitter 262. RF splitter 262 separates the RF signal 270 into back into its components, first signal at frequency F1 and second signal at frequency F2. RF splitter 262 is in circuit communication with band pass filter B.P. 1 256, which is in circuit communication with first tuned circuit 254. Similarly, RF splitter 262 is in circuit communication with band pass filter B.P. 2 260, which is in circuit communication with second tuned circuit 258. Optionally, band pass filter B.P. 1, 256 and band pass filter B.P. 2 260 can be replaced with a splitter or powered tee.

[0069] First tuned circuit 254 is tuned so that at least a portion of reception head 268 is resonant at frequency F1. Similarly, second tuned circuit 258 is tuned to that at least a portion of reception head 268 is resonant at frequency F2. Since the reception head 268 is resonant at frequencies F1 and F2 the RF signal 270 is forced to pass through the target area 280.

[0070] Optionally, an exemplary embodiment having an RF transmitter, similar to that illustrated above, that does not include an RF combination circuit is provided. Instead, the RF transmitter uses a multi-frequency transmission head. In this embodiment, one portion of the transmission head is used to transmit one frequency signal, and a second portion is used to transmit a second frequency signal. In addition, optionally, the reception head and resonant circuits are constructed without the need for a splitter, by providing a reception head having multiple portions wherein the specific portions are tuned to receive specific frequency signals. An example of such a transmission head in more detail illustrated below.

[0071] FIG. 2 illustrates another means for concentrating the RF signal on specific target area by using a larger transmission head then reception head. The RF signal 270 transmitted by larger transmission head 218 is received by reception head 268 in such a manner that the RF signal 270 is more concentrated near the reception head 268 than it is near the transmission head 218. The more concentrated the RF signal 270, the higher the amount of energy that can be absorbed by the specific area 282. Thus, positioning the larger transmission head on one side of the target area 280 and positioning the smaller reception head 268 on the other side of and near the specific target area 282 is a means for concentrating the RF signal 270 on the specific target area 282. Optionally, one or more of the tuned circuits 254, 258 in the RF receiver 250 are tuned to have a high quality factor or high "Q." Providing a resonant circuit with a high "Q" allows the tuned head to pick up larger amounts of energy.

[0072] FIGS. 3-6 illustrate a number of exemplary transmitter head and reception head configurations. Additionally, the transmitter and receiver heads may be metallic plates. FIG. 3 illustrates a transmitter head 302 having a non-uniform thickness 314. Transmission head 302 is electrically insulated from target area 306 by an insulation layer 308 in contact with the target area. Similarly, reception head 304 is electrically insulated by insulation layer 310. Insulation layer 310 can be in direct contact with target area 306. Insulation layer 308, 310 provide additional means of electrically insulating the transmission head and reception heads from the target area. Reception head 304 also has non-uniform thicknesses 314 and 316. Receiver head 304 is smaller than transmission head 302 and has a smaller cross sectional area on its face. The smaller cross-sectional area of receiver head 304 facilitates in concentrating an RF signal in a specific target area.

[0073] FIG. 3A illustrates a face view of the exemplary embodiment of the transmission head 302 of FIG. 3. The transmission head 302 includes a plurality of individual transmission heads 314, 316. Transmission heads 314 provide for transmission of a signal at a first frequency, such as 4 megahertz. Transmission heads 316 provide for transmission of a signal at a second frequency, such as, for example 10 MHz, or 13.56 MHz or any of the lower harmonics of 13.56 MHz mentioned above, e.g., 27.12 MHz. Preferably, the transmission heads 314 and 316 are electrically insulated from one another. In addition, preferable the power output can be controlled to each transmission head, allowing for the power output to be increased or decreased in specific areas based upon the size, shape, or depth of the specific target area. Optionally, all of the transmission heads 314 provide the same power output, and transmission heads 316 provide the same power output.

[0074] Obviously the transmission head can contain any number of individual transmission heads. Moreover, the transmission heads can transmit signals at a plurality of frequency, and include, but are not limited to transmission heads that transmit signals at one, two, three, etc. different frequencies. All of which have been contemplated and are within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

[0075] FIG. 4 illustrates yet an additional exemplary embodiment. FIG. 4 illustrates transmission head 402 with a wavy surface 412 and reception head 404 having a wavy surface 414. Other useful surface configurations include bumpy, planer, non-uniform, mounded, conical and dimpled surfaces. Varied surface shapes allow for variable depths of heating control. The shape of receiving head 414 is thinner, narrower (not shown) and is selected based upon the size and shape of the specific target area 410 located in the general target area 406.

[0076] FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary embodiment with a non-invasive transmission head 502 and an invasive needle 512. In this embodiment, end of needle 512 is located at least partially within general target area 506 and near specific target area 510. Needle 512 is preferably hollow and has extension members 514 within the needle 512. Once the end of needle 512 is located near the specific target area 510, the extension members 514 are extended and attach to the specific target area 510. Preferably, the specific target area 510 has been targeted with a large concentration of RF absorption enhancers 516. The target area 510, itself, becomes the reception head. The extension members 514 provide circuit communication with the resonant circuit and the target area 510 is resonant at the desired frequency. Providing multiple extension members provides for a more even heating of the specific target area 510. This embodiment allows the RF signal to be concentrated on small areas.

[0077] FIG. 6 illustrates yet another exemplary embodiment of transmission and reception heads. In this embodiment, transmission head 602 includes a first transmission head portion 604 and a second transmission head portion 606. The first and second transmission heads 602, 604 are electrically isolated from one another by an insulating member 608. Similarly, reception head 612 includes a first reception portion 614 and a second reception portion 16 that are electrically isolated from one another by an insulation member 618. Providing multiple transmission head portions that are electrically isolated from one another allows the use of multiple frequencies which can be used to heat various shapes and sizes of target areas. Different frequencies can be used to heat thicker and thinner portions of the target area, or deeper target areas allowing for a more uniform heating, or maximum desired heating, of the entire target area. Another exemplary embodiment (not shown) includes a plurality of concentric circles forming transmission head portions and are electrically isolated or insulated from each other.

[0078] FIG. 7 illustrates a high level exemplary methodology of for inducing hyperthermia in a target area 700. The methodology begins at block 702. At block 704 the transmission head is arranged. Arrangement of the transmission head is accomplished by, for example, placing the transmission head proximate to and on one side of the target area. At block 706 the reception head is arranged. Arrangement of the reception head is similarly accomplished by, for example, placing the reception head proximate to and on the other side of the target area so that an RF signal transmitted via the transmission head to the reception head will pass through the target area. At block 708 the RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head to the reception head. The RF signal passes through and warms cells in the target area. The methodology ends at block 710 and may be ended after a predetermined time interval and/in response to a determination that a desired heating has been achieved.

[0079] FIG. 8 illustrates an exemplary methodology for inducing hyperthermia in a target area 800. The methodology begins at block 802. At block 804 an RF transmitter is provided. The RF transmitter may be any type of RF transmitter allowing the RF frequency to be changed or selected. Preferably RF transmitter is a variable frequency RF transmitter. Optionally, the RF transmitter is also multi-frequency transmitter capable of providing multiple-frequency RF signals. Still yet, optionally the RF transmitter is capable of transmitting RF signals with variable amplitudes or pulsed amplitudes.

[0080] Preferably, a variety of different shapes and sizes of transmission and reception heads are provided. The transmission head is selected at block 806. The selection of the transmission head may be based in part on the type of RF transmitter provided. Other factors, such as, for example, the depth, size and shape of the general target area, or specific target area to be treated, and the number of frequencies transmitted may also be used in determining the selection of the transmission head.

[0081] The RF receiver is provided at block 808. The RF receiver may be tuned to the frequency(s) of the RF transmitter. At block 810, the desired reception head is selected. Similarly to the selection of the transmission head, the reception head is preferably selected to fit the desired characteristics of the particular application. For example, a reception head with a small cross section can be selected to concentrate the RF signal on a specific target area. Various sizes and shapes of the reception heads allow for optimal concentration of the RF signal in the desired target area.

[0082] The RF absorption in the target area is enhanced at block 812. The RF absorption rate may be enhanced by, for example, injecting an aqueous solution, and preferably an aqueous solution containing suspended particles of an electrically conductive material. Optionally, the RF absorption in the target area is enhanced by exposing the target cells to one or more targeted RF absorption enhancers, as discussed above.

[0083] Arrangement of the transmission head and reception head are performed at blocks 814 and 816 respectfully. The transmission head and reception heads are arranged proximate to and on either side of the target area. The transmission head and reception heads are insulated from the target area. Preferably the heads are insulated from the target area by means of an air gap. Optionally, the heads are insulated from the target area by means of an insulating material. The RF frequency(s) are selected at block 818 and the RF signal is transmitted at block 820. In addition to selecting the desired RF frequency(s) at block 818, preferably, the transmission time or duration is also selected. The duration time is set to, for example, a specified length of time, or set to raise the temperature of at least a portion of the target area to a desired temperature/temperature range, such as, for example to between 106.degree. and 107.degree., or set to a desired change in temperature. In addition, optionally, other modifications of the RF signal are selected at this time, such as, for example, amplitude, pulsed amplitude, an on/off pulse rate of the RF signal, a variable RF signal where the frequency of the RF signal varies over a set time period or in relation to set temperatures, ranges or changes in temperatures. The methodology ends at block 822 and may be ended after a predetermined time interval and/in response to a determination that a desired heating has been achieved.

[0084] FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary in-vitro methodology of inducing hyperthermia in target cells 900. The exemplary in-vitro methodology 900 begins at block 902. At block 904, cells to be treated are extracted from a patient and placed in a vessel. The removed cells include at least one or more target cells and are extracted by any method, such as for example, with a needle and syringe. At block 906 antibodies bound with RF enhancers are provided and exposed to the extracted cells. The antibodies bound with RF enhancers attach to one or more of the target cells that are contained within the larger set of extracted cells.

[0085] An RF transmitter and RF receiver are provided at blocks 910 and 912 respectively. The transmission head is arranged proximate to and on one side of the target cells in the vessel at block 916. At block 918 the reception head is arranged proximate to and on the other side of the target cells. An RF signal is transmitted at block 918 to increase the temperature of the target cells to, for example, to between 106.degree. and 107.degree..

[0086] FIG. 10 illustrates an exemplary in-vitro methodology of separating cells 1000. The exemplary in-vitro methodology begins at block 1002. At block 1004, cells to be treated are extracted from a patient and placed in a vessel. The extracted cells include at least one or more target cells and are extracted by any method, such as for example, with a needle and syringe. At block 1006 targeting carriers (with either inherent targeting moieties or targeting moieties attached thereto) bound to magnetic particles (magnetic targeted RF absorption enhancers) are provided and exposed to the extracted cells. The magnetic targeted RF absorption enhancers attach to one or more of the target cells that are contained within the larger set of extracted cells. A magnetic coil is provided at block 1010 and energized at block 1012. The target cells that are bound to the targeting moieties are attracted by the magnetic field. The target cells bound to the targeting moieties are then separated from the other cells. The target cells can be separated by skimming the one or more target cells from the remaining cells, or retaining the one or more target cells in one area of the vessel and removing the other cells. The methodology ends at block 1020 after one or more of the target cells are separated from the other cells.

[0087] As shown in FIG. 11, an exemplary system 1100 according to the present invention may have an RF generator 1102 transmitting RF energy via a transmission head 1104 toward a target area 1106. The transmission head 1104 may have a plate 1108 operatively coupled to a coil or other inductor 1110. In such a configuration, the head 1104 may itself constitute or be components of a resonant circuit for transmission and/or reception of a hyperthermia-generating RF signal. The plate 1108 may be in circuit communication with the coil or other inductor 1110. The RF generator 1102 may be a commercial transmitter, e.g., the transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver. A hyperthermia generating signal can be generated at about 13.56 MHz (one of the FCC-authorized frequencies for ISM equipment) by the transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver by clipping certain blocking components as known to those skilled in the art. The RF generator 1102 and transmission head 1104 may have associated antenna tuner circuitry (not shown) in circuit communication therewith or integral therewith, e.g., automatic or manual antenna tuner circuitry, to adjust to the impedance of transmission head 1104 and the target area 1106 (and a receiver, if any). The transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver has such integral antenna tuner circuitry (pressing a "Tune" button causes the unit to automatically adjust to the load presented to the RF generator portion). The RF generator 1202 and transmission head may have associated antenna tuner circuitry (not shown) in circuit communication therewith or integral therewith, e.g., automatic or manual antenna tuner circuitry, to adjust to the combined impedance of the target area 1206 and the receiver 1212, 1214 and compensate for changes therein. The transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver has such integral antenna tuner circuitry. Various configurations for the plate 1108 and coil 1110 are possible, as exemplified below. A central axis of the coil, e.g., the central axis of a cylindrical inductor core, may be directed toward the target area.

[0088] As exemplified by FIG. 12A, an exemplary system 1200 according to the present invention may have an RF generator 1202 transmitting RF energy via a transmission head 1204 (which transmission head 1204 may have a plate 1208 operatively coupled to a coil or other inductor 1210) through a target area 1206 to a reception head 1212 coupled to a load 1214. The reception head 1212 may have a plate 1216 operatively coupled to a coil or other inductor 1218. The RF generator 1202 may be a commercial transmitter, e.g., the transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver, which may be modified as discussed above to generate a 13.56 MHz signal. The RF generator 1202 and transmission head 1204 may have associated antenna tuner circuitry (not shown) in circuit communication therewith or integral therewith, e.g., automatic or manual antenna tuner circuitry, to adjust to the combined impedance of the transmission head 1204, the target area 1206, and the receiver 1212, 1214 and compensate for changes therein. The transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver has such integral antenna tuner circuitry. The load 1214 may be as simple as a non-inductive resistive load (e.g., a grounded power resistor) providing a path for coupled RF energy to dissipate. Various configurations for the plates 1208, 1216 and coils 1210, 1218 are possible, as exemplified below.

[0089] As exemplified by FIG. 12B, an exemplary system 1220 according to the present invention may have a combined RF generator/load 1222 transmitting RF energy via the transmission head 1204 through the target area 1206 to the reception head 1212, which may also be coupled to the combined RF generator/load 1222. The combined RF generator/load 1222 may be a commercial transceiver, e.g., a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver, which has built-in automatic antenna tuner circuitry, which can automatically correct for the impedance of the transmission head 1204, the target area 1206, and the reception head 1212. For generating hyperthermia with an RF signal, the YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver may not generate enough heat, depending on whether RF enhancers are used. Accordingly, the output may need to be amplified with a power amplifier prior to coupling via the transmission head through the target region to the reception head. The configurations of FIGS. 12A and 12B, having a transmission head and a reception head defining a target region therebetween, are favored at the time of the filing of the present application with respect to generating hyperthermia with an RF signal in a target region, e.g., in a tumor or portion of a tumor treated with RF enhancers.

[0090] As shown in FIGS. 13-14, an exemplary head 1300 (as a transmission head and/or as a reception head) may have a plate of conductive material 1302 operatively coupled to a coil or other inductor 1304, an axis of which inductor 1304 may extend generally perpendicular or substantially perpendicular with respect to a surface 1305 of the plate 1302. In such a configuration, the head 1300 may itself constitute or be components of a resonant circuit for transmission and/or reception of a hyperthermia-generating RF signal. The plate of conductive material 1302 may be a generally round plate made of flat, conductive material of substantially uniform thickness. The specific characteristics (surface area, thickness, material, etc.) of the plate 1302 may depend on the specific application and may depend greatly on the frequency or frequencies of electromagnetic radiation directed toward a target area. The plate 1302 may be made from, e.g., copper or silver-plated copper or bronze and should be thick enough to be self-supporting or supported by supporting structures (not shown). The surface area of the plate 1302 may depend on the size of the target area, with a larger plate being used for a larger target area. The surface area of the plate 1302 may depend on the frequency of hyperthermia generating RF signal being used, with lower frequencies, e.g., 13.56 MHz, using a larger plate than higher frequencies, e.g., 27.12 MHz or 40.68 MHz, to help tune to the frequency of hyperthermia generating RF signal being used.

[0091] Similarly, the specific characteristics (number of inductors, inductance of each inductor, overall length of each, material for each, material dimensions for each, number of windings for each, coil diameter for each, coil core material for each, etc.) of the inductor 1304 may depend on the specific application and may depend greatly on the frequency or frequencies of electromagnetic radiation directed toward a target area. At higher RF frequencies, (e.g., at about 100 MHz and higher) the inductor 1304 may be a simple straight length of electrical conductor. The inductor 1304 at lower RF frequencies (e.g., about 13.56 MHz) may be configured as a coil 1304 of electrically conductive material, as shown in the figures. If the inductor 1304 is a coil, the coil 1304 may be formed using a core 1306, which may have an axis, e.g., a central axis 1307, that is generally or substantially perpendicular to the surface 1305 of plate 1302. If a plurality of frequencies of electromagnetic radiation are directed toward a target area, a corresponding plurality of electrically insulated inductors may extend generally or substantially perpendicular from the surface 1305 toward the target area. Some or all of the plurality of electrically insulated inductors may be coils, some or all of which may be coaxial or even share a common core 1306. As shown in FIG. 13, the inductor 1304 may be spaced from a central point 1308 (e.g., a center of area or center of mass or axial center) of the plate by a distance 1309. Similarly, the axis 1307 of inductor 1304 may be spaced from the central point 1308 of the plate by a distance (not shown). As shown in FIG. 14, the head 1300 may have an associated electrical connector 1312 for being placed in circuit communication with either an RF generator (in the case of a transmission head) or a load (in the case of a reception head). As discussed below, the plate 1302 may be electrically connected to the inductor 1304 at a point 1310. In the alternative, the plate 1302 may be electrically insulated from the inductor 1304, which may permit the plate to be configured differently from the inductor 1304, e.g., permit the plate 1302 to be grounded or tuned independently of the inductor 1304. Thus, the connector 1312 may be in circuit communication with the plate 1302 and/or the inductor 1304 and the plate 1302 and the inductor 1304 may each have an associated connector. As discussed below, the other end 1314 of coil 1304 may be free or may be connected to a tuning circuit, e.g., a capacitor which may be a variable capacitor.

[0092] An exemplary head for use at a frequency of about 13.56 MHz may have a plate formed as an approximately circular shaped disk of flat copper that is about ten (10) inches thick electrically connected to an inductor that is a coil formed from about six (6) turns of 22 or 24 gauge wire would around a 1-inch hollow air core with the windings extending about three (3) inches from the surface of the plate.

[0093] As shown in FIG. 15, two of the exemplary heads 1300 of FIGS. 13-14 may be used as a transmission head 1300a and reception head 1300b pair. In this configuration, the transmission head 1300a may be in circuit communication with an RF generator via connector 1312a and reception head 1300b may be in circuit communication with a load via connector 1312b with RF electromagnetic energy being coupled from transmission head 1300a to reception head 1300b. As shown in FIG. 15, such a pair may be oriented to create an area 1500 bounded on different sides by the plates 1302a, 1302b and coils 1304a, 1304b. More specifically, the transmission head 1300a and reception head 1300b may be oriented with their plates 1302a, 1302b generally facing each other and their inductors spaced from each other and with their axes extending generally parallel to each other to create area 1500. Area 1500 thus is bounded by a side 1502a proximate plate 1302a, a side 1502b proximate plate 1302b, a side 1504a proximate inductor 1304a, and a side 1504b proximate inductor 1304b. Notice that in this configuration, the distal ends 1502a, 1502b of the inductors 1304a, 1304b are proximate an opposite location 1508b, 1508a of the opposite plate 1302b, 1302a, respectively, which creates an overlap of the inductors 1304a, 1304b that helps form the area 1500. It is expected that RF electromagnetic energy will be coupled from inductor 1304a to inductor 1304b in this side to side configuration. Similarly, it is also believed that RF electromagnetic energy will be coupled from plate 1302a to plate 1302b. Surprisingly, a pair of heads 1300a, 1300b tuned to substantially the same frequency (or harmonics thereof) can be arranged in a skewed configuration (with the plates not directly facing each other and the axes of the coils skewed) and separated by several feet of separation and still permit coupling of significant RF electromagnetic energy from head 1300a to head 1300b.

[0094] Another exemplary head configuration is shown in FIGS. 16-17, which shows exemplary head 1600 (as a transmission head and/or as a reception head). The head 1600 is similar in many ways to the head 1300 of FIGS. 13-14. Like head 1300, head 1600 may have a plate of conductive material 1602 operatively coupled to a coil or other inductor 1604, an axis of which inductor 1604 may extend generally perpendicular or substantially perpendicular with respect to a surface 1605 of the plate 1602. In such a configuration, the head 1300 may itself constitute or be components of a resonant circuit for transmission and/or reception of a hyperthermia-generating RF signal. Except as set forth below, all of the discussion above with respect to head 1300 also applies to the head 1600. If the inductor 1604 is a coil, the coil 1604 may be formed using a core 1606, which may have an axis, e.g., a central axis 1607, that is generally or substantially perpendicular to surface 1605 of plate 1602. Unlike head 1300, in head 1600, the axis 1607 of inductor 1604 is shown as being coaxial with a central point of the plate. Also note that the head 1600 has a coil 1604 that has more closely spaced coil windings than coil 1304 of head 1300, which permits coil 1604 to be shown as being shorter than coil 1304 in FIG. 13. As shown in FIG. 17, the head 1600 may have an associated electrical connector 1612 for being placed in circuit communication with either an RF generator (in the case of a transmission head) or a load (in the case of a reception head) with RF electromagnetic energy being coupled from transmission head 1300a to reception head 1300b. As discussed below, the plate 1602 may be electrically connected to the inductor 1604 at a point 1610. In the alternative, the plate 1602 may be electrically insulated from the inductor 1604, which may permit the plate to be configured differently from the inductor 1604, e.g., permit the plate 1602 to be grounded or tuned independently of the inductor 1604. Thus, the connector 1612 may be in circuit communication with the plate 1602 and/or the inductor 1604 and the plate 1602 and the inductor 1604 may each have an associated connector. As discussed below, the other end 1614 of coil 1604 may be free or may be connected to a tuning circuit, e.g., a capacitor which may be a variable capacitor. Again, except as noted above, all of the discussion above with respect to head 1300 also applies to the head 1600.

[0095] A pair of the exemplary heads 1600 of FIGS. 16-17 may be used as a transmission head 1600a and reception head 1300b pair, with the transmission head 1600a in circuit communication with an RF generator via connector 1612a and the reception head 1600b in circuit communication with a load via connector 1612b, with RF electromagnetic energy being coupled from transmission head 1600a to reception head 1600b. In such a configuration, the head 1600 may itself constitute or be components of a resonant circuit for transmission and/or reception of a hyperthermia-generating RF signal. Although a pair of heads 1600 may be arranged similar to as shown in FIG. 15, with a pair of inductors side to side and plates facing each other, head 1600 does not really lend itself to this configuration because inductor 1604 is significantly shorter than inductor 1304 and if put in this configuration, there would be a substantially smaller target area and significant portions of the opposite plates not directly facing each other. The head 1600 does lend itself to the configuration shown in FIG. 18 in which a pair of heads 1600a, 1600b are arranged in an "end-fired" configuration, i.e., the coils 1604a, 1604b are coaxial so that the ends of the coils are essentially aimed at each other. In the configuration of FIG. 18, the plates 1602a, 1602b face each other directly. RF electromagnetic energy is coupled from transmission head 1300a to reception head 1300b through an area 1800 between the heads 1600a, 1600b as discussed in more detail below. The central axis of the coils 1604a, 1604b, e.g., the central axis of a cylindrical inductor core, may be directed toward the target area.

[0096] FIG. 19 shows two heads 1600a, 1600b in the "end-fired" configuration of FIG. 18 with transmission head 1600a being in circuit communication with an RF generator via coaxial cable 1900 connected to connector 1312a and the reception head 1300b being in circuit communication with a load via a coaxial cable 1902 connected to connector 1312b, with RF electromagnetic energy being coupled from transmission head 1600a to reception head 1600b. A conductor 1904 within connector 1612a is in circuit communication with plate 1602a and coil 1604a. Similarly, a conductor 1906 within connector 1612b is in circuit communication with plate 1602b and coil 1604b. The shield layer of coaxial cables 1900, 1902 are grounded as shown schematically at 1910, 1912. It is believed that there is significant coupling of RF electromagnetic energy directly between the end-fired inductors 1604a, 1604b, as indicated schematically by the relatively closely spaced rays at 1920. It is also believed that there is additional coupling of RF electromagnetic energy between the plates 1602a, 1602b, although not at as significant a rate, as indicated schematically by the more widely spaced rays at 1930. Again, surprisingly, a pair of such heads 1600a, 1600b tuned to substantially the same frequency (or harmonics thereof) can be arranged in a skewed configuration (with the plates not directly facing each other and the axes of the coils skewed) and separated by several feet of separation and still permit coupling of significant RF electromagnetic energy from head 1600a to head 1600b.

[0097] FIG. 20 shows two heads 2000a, 2000b the same as the two heads 1600a, 1600b in the "end-fired" configuration of FIGS. 18 and 19, except that the heads 2000a, 2000b have plates 2002a, 2002b that are electrically insulated from inductors 2004a, 2004b and are grounded. Thus, in the configuration of FIG. 20, the inductor 2004a is in circuit communication with an RF generator via coaxial cable 1900 connected to connector 2012a and inductor 2004b is in circuit communication with a load via a coaxial cable 1902 connected to connector 2012b, with RF electromagnetic energy being coupled from inductor 2004a to inductor 2004b. A conductor 2040 within connector 2012a is in circuit communication with 2004a. Similarly, a conductor 2042 within connector 2012b is in circuit communication with coil 2004b. The shield layer of coaxial cables 1900, 1902 are grounded as shown schematically at 1910, 1912. Additionally, in this configuration, the plates 2002a, 2002b are grounded as shown schematically at 2044, 2046. It is believed that there is significant coupling of RF electromagnetic energy directly between the end-fired inductors 2004a, 2004b, as indicated schematically by the relatively closely spaced rays at 2020.

[0098] FIGS. 21A and 21B show schematically the end-fired coils 1604a, 1604b, 2004a, 2004b shown in FIGS. 18-20 coupling electromagnetic radiation 1920, 2020 from coil 1604a, 2004a to coil 1604b, 2004b. In FIG. 21A, the distal ends 1614a, 1614b, 2014a, 2014b of coils 1604a, 2004a, 1604b, 2004b are shown as being free. In the alternative, either or both of the distal ends 1614a, 2014a, 1614b, 2014b may be connected to active or passive circuitry to assist in coupling electromagnetic radiation 1920, 2020 from coil 1604a, 2004a to coil 1604b, 2004b, whether there is an associated plate 1602, 2002 or not. For example, either or both of the distal ends 1614a, 2014a, 1614b, 2014b of coils 1604a, 2004a, 1604b, 2004b may be in circuit communication with parallel capacitors C1, C2 as shown in FIG. 21B to assist in coupling electromagnetic radiation from coil to coil. Similarly, FIGS. 22A and 22B show schematically the side to side coils 1304a, 1304b shown in FIG. 15 coupling electromagnetic radiation 2200 from coil 1304a to coil 1304b. In FIG. 22A, the distal ends 1314a, 1314b of coils 1304a, 1304b are shown as being free. In the alternative, either or both of the distal ends 1614a, 1614b may be connected to active or passive circuitry to assist in coupling electromagnetic radiation 2200 from coil 1304a to coil 1304b, whether there is an associated plate 1302 or not. For example, either or both of the distal ends 1314a, 1314b, of coils 1604a, 1604b may be in circuit communication with parallel capacitors C3, C4 as shown in FIG. 22B to assist in coupling electromagnetic radiation from coil to coil. Side to side coils 1304a, 1304b without corresponding plates may be placed in a grounded cage, e.g., a Faraday cage such as a grounded bronze screen box, to prevent re-radiation away from each other, such as re-radiation along their central axes. The use of ungrounded plates in circuit communication with coils (e.g., FIGS. 13-19) tends to confine the RF energy between the plates, which might avoid the need for a Faraday shield. For example, for a pair of the exemplary heads described above (13.56 MHz; plates formed as an approximately circular shaped disk of flat copper that is about ten (10) inches thick electrically connected to a coil formed from about six (6) turns of 22 or 24 gauge wire would around a 1-inch hollow air core with the windings extending about three (3) inches from the surface of the plate) arranged in the configuration of FIG. 18 and tuned to the frequency being transmitted, with the plates spaced about 6'' apart, transmitted RF seems to stay substantially within the confines of the plates using a neon bulb, as basic testing has indicated.

[0099] Any of the foregoing heads may be used for transmission and/or reception of a hyperthermia-generating RF signal.

[0100] FIG. 23 shows an exemplary RF generator 2300 in circuit communication with a transmission head 2302 coupling hyperthermia generating RF energy to a reception head 2304 through a target area 2306. The spacing between the transmission head 2302 and the reception head 2304 preferably, but not necessarily, may be adjusted to accommodate targets of different sizes. The transmission head 2302 and/or the reception head 2304 may have circuitry to accommodate differences in impedance between the transmission head 2302 and the reception head 2304 caused, e.g., by differences in spacing between the heads 2302, 2304 and/or different targets. Such circuitry may include automatic antenna matching circuitry and/or manually adjustable variable components for antenna matching, e.g., high-voltage, high-power RF variable capacitors. The reception head 2304 may be in circuit communication with a load 2308, which may be as simple as a non-inductive resistive load (e.g., a grounded power resistor) providing a path for coupled RF energy to dissipate. The transmission head 2302 and the reception head 2304 may each be in any of the various head configurations shown and/or described herein. The transmission head 2302 and/or the reception head 2304 may have an associated power meter, which may be used as feedback to adjust any manually adjustable variable components for antenna matching until a substantial amount of power being transmitted by transmission head 2302 is being received by the reception head 2304. In general, such power meters may be separate or integral with the RF generator, and/or the RF receiver, and/or the combined RF generator/receiver. If separate power meters are used, they may be located remotely with the transmission head 2302 and the reception head 2304 to facilitate contemporaneous adjustment and tuning of the transmission head 2302 and the reception head 2304.

[0101] The exemplary RF generator 2300 of FIG. 23 comprises a crystal oscillator 2320 that generates a signal 2322 at a power level of about 0.1 Watts at a selectable frequency to a preamplifier 2324. The signal 2322 may be modified before the preamplifier 2324 to have a variable duty cycle, e.g., to provide a pulsed RF signal at a variable duty cycle. As discussed above, it may be beneficial to use a frequency modulated (FM) RF signal to create hyperthermia with certain energy absorption enhancer particles. Accordingly, in addition, or in the alternative, signal 2322 may be modified before the preamplifier 2324 to be an FM signal. For example, pre-amp 2324 may be replaced with an amplifying FM exciter to modulate the signal 2322 with a selected modulation frequency and amplify the signal as pre-amp 2324. The parameters of the FM RF signal used to generate hyperthermia may be selected to correspond to the specific sample of particles being used as energy absorption enhancer particles. The center frequency of an FM hyperthermia generating RF signal may correspond to a resonant frequency of nominally sized particles used as energy absorption enhancer particles and the modulation of the FM hyperthermia generating RF signal may correspond to the size tolerance of the particles used as energy absorption enhancer particles, as discussed above.

[0102] The preamplifier 2324 amplifies the RF signal 2322 (or the modified signal 2322) and generates a signal 2326 at a power level of about 10 Watts to an intermediate power amplifier 2328. The intermediate power amplifier 2328 amplifies the RF signal 2326 and generates an RF signal 2330 at a power level of about 100 Watts to a power amplifier 2332. The power amplifier 2332 amplifies the RF signal 2330 and generates a selectable power RF signal 2334 at a selectable power level of 0.00 Watts to about 1000 Watts to the transmission head 2302. A power meter may be placed in circuit communication between the power amplifier 2332 and the transmission head 2302 to measure the RF power to the transmission head 2302. Similarly, a power meter may be placed in circuit communication between the reception head 2304 and the load 2306 to measure the RF power from the reception head 2304. The preamplifier 2324 may be a hybrid preamplifier. The intermediate power amplifier 2328 may be a solid state Class C intermediate power amplifier. The power amplifier 2332 may be a zero-bias grounding grid triode power amplifier, which are relatively unaffected by changes in output impedance, e.g., a 3CX15000A7 power amplifier.

[0103] The exemplary RF generator 2300 shown generates a high-power fixed-frequency hyperthermia generating RF signal at an adjustable power range of 0.00 Watts to about 1000 Watts. The exemplary RF generator 2300 shown may be modified to generate high-power fixed-frequency hyperthermia generating RF signals at selected frequencies or at an adjustable frequency, any of which may be pulsed or FM modulated. For example, a plurality of separate crystals, preamplifiers, and IPAs, each at a different frequency, e.g., 13.56 MHz, 27.12 MHz, 40.68 MHz, 54.24 MHz, 67.80 MHz, and 81.36 MHz (not shown) may be switchably connected to the power amplifier 2332 for generation of a high-power hyperthermia generating signal at a frequency selected from a plurality of frequencies.

[0104] While the present invention has been illustrated by the description of embodiments thereof, and while the embodiments have been described in some detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. For example, any of the transmitter circuits and/or transceiver circuits described herein can be used with virtually any of the RF absorption enhancers (general and/or targeted), described herein, or with any combination or permutation thereof, or without any RF absorption enhancer. As another example, the RF signal (single frequency or FM modulated) may be modulated with another signal, such as, for example, a square wave (e.g. a 300-400 Hz square wave). Modulating the RF signal with a square wave may stimulate the tissue and enhance heating; square waves introduce harmonics that may enhance modulation utilized; and square waves may also be used to pulse the transmitted signal to change the average duty cycle. Another example includes total body induced hyperthermia to treat the patient's entire body. In this example, the transmission and reception heads are as large as the patient and hyperthermia is induced in the entire body. Cooling the blood may be required to prevent overheating and can be accomplished in any manner. Additionally, the steps of methods herein may generally be performed in any order, unless the context dictates that specific steps be performed in a specific order. Therefore, the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of the applicant's general inventive concept.


US Patent Application # 20050251234 (A1)

Systems and Methods for RF-Induced Hyperthermia Using Biological Cells and Nanoparticles as RF Enhancer Carriers

10 November 2005
John Kanzius, et al.
US Cl. 607/101
Intl Cl. A61F 002/00

Abstract -- A method of inducing hyperthermia in at least a portion of a target area--e.g., a tumor or a portion of a tumor or targeted cancerous cells--is provided. Targeted RF absorption enhancers, e.g., tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) containing RF absorbing particles, are introduced into a patient. These targeted RF absorption enhancers will target certain cells in the target areas and enhance the effect of a hyperthermia generating RF signal directed toward the target area. The targeted RF absorption enhancers may, in a manner of speaking, add one or more RF absorption frequencies to cells in the target area, which will permit a hyperthermia generating RF signal at that frequency or frequencies to heat the targeted cells.


US Patent Application # 20050251233

System and method for RF-induced hyperthermia

John Kanzius, et al.
10 November 2005

Abstract -- An embodiment of a non-invasive RF system for inducing hyperthermia in a target area, and a corresponding non-invasive RF method for inducing hyperthermia in a target area are provided. The system includes an RF transmitter and transmission head, and RF receiver and reception head wherein the transmission and reception heads are arranged proximate a target area so that an RF signal between the heads induces hyperthermia in the target area. The method includes arranging the transmission head and reception head proximate and on either side of a target area and transmitting an RF signal through the target area.


US Patent Application # 20050273143 (A1)
Systems and Methods for Combined RF-Induced Hyperthermia and Radioimmunotherapy

US Cl. 07/101
John Kanzius, et al.
8 December 2005

Abstract -- A combined radiotherapy and hyperthermia therapy is provided, including inducing hyperthermia in at least a portion of a target area--e.g., a tumor or a portion of a tumor or targeted cancerous cells--is provided. Biomolecules labeled with at least one radionuclide suitable for radiotherapy are provided and introduced into a patient; targeted RF absorption enhancers are provided and introduced into a patient; and a hyperthermia generating RF signal is directed via toward the target cells, thereby warming the radionuclide-labeled biomolecules and targeted RF absorption enhancers bound to target cells. The targeted RF absorption enhancers may, in a manner of speaking, add one or more RF absorption frequencies to cells in the target area, which will permit a hyperthermia generating RF signal at that frequency or frequencies to heat the targeted cells. Biomolecules labeled with at least one radionuclide suitable for radiotherapy may be used for both radiotherapy and as RF absorption enhancers for the hyperthermia generating RF signal.


WO2007027620

ENHANCED SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR RF-INDUCED HYPERTHERMIA II

3-08-2007
Classification: - international: A61N1/40; A61N1/40;
Abstract -- An RF transceiver for coupling an RF signal through a target area, having a transmission head having a transmission inductor having a first axis directed toward a target area, an RF generator capable of generating a hyperthermia-inducing RF signal having at least one component for transmission via the transmission head, the RF signal being capable of heating at least one of target cells and RF absorption enhancers associated with target cells to thermally damage the target cells, a reception head for receiving the RF signal and having a reception inductor having a second axis directed toward the target area, a first tuned circuit in circuit communication between the RF generator and the transmission head, and a second tuned circuit in circuit communication between the reception head and a load, and wherein the first and second tuned circuits cooperate with each other and the transmission and reception heads to form a high-Q circuit for coupling the RF signal through the target area. The tuned networks may be simple or elaborate pi-networks and may have tunable components to help couple a desired amount of power from the transmission head to the reception head through the target area.


ENHANCED SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR RF-INDUCED HYPERTHERMIA
Inventor: KANZIUS JOHN
Applicant: THERM MED LLC
EC:  A61B18/14; A61N1/40T; (+1)  IPC: A61N1/40; A61B18/14; A61F2/00 (+3)
EP1758648
2007-03-07

Enhanced systems and methods for RF-induced hyperthermia
Inventor: KANZIUS JOHN
EC:   IPC: A61F2/00; A61F2/00
Publication info: US2006190063
2006-08-24

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR RF-INDUCED HYPERTHERMIA
Inventor: KANZIUS JOHN
Applicant: THERM MED LLC; KANZIUS JOHN
EC:  A61B18/12; A61N1/40T; (+1)  IPC: A61B18/12; A61F2/00; A61N1/40 (+4)
WO2005110544 - 2005-11-24


http://www.goerie.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20081222/OPINION01/312229991/-1/OPINION
Erie Times News ( 22 Dec 08 )

Kanzius Invention Clears Hurdle

The Kanzius cancer-treating concept has taken a major stride, thanks to successful results from a significant test.

Researchers found that an external radio-frequency device can destroy specific cancer cells that have been tagged with tiny pieces of gold, or nanoparticles.

John Kanzius, a retired Erie radio engineer, invented the device, and Steven Curley, M.D., serves as principal investigator for the Kanzius Project at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

Research demonstrating that specific cancer cells could be targeted with nanoparticles were published online in the Journal of Experimental Therapeutics on Friday. The research has generated new excitement about the Kanzius invention.

"It proves that this has the potential to work, and it makes sense for us to continue pushing," Curley says.

At this juncture in the research, we echo Curley. Keep pushing on the scientific and research fronts.

Keep pushing for additional donations to the Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation. Research costs money, and the resources must be available to keep this project moving ahead through the government regulatory process.

Keep pushing Gov. Ed Rendell, U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter and soon-to-be U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper to keep the lines of communication open with the Kanzius Foundation and the Kanzius Project to see how state and federal government can assist.

Keep pushing to determine what role Erie companies can play in the manufacture of the Kanzius invention.

With each new breakthrough on this project, we witness two reactions. There are the positive responses articulated by Curley, Kanzius and the many people touched by cancer, who are optimistic (yet realistic) that this project will be successful in human trials.

Then there are the negative responses by some who suspect that competing interests will stomp out the gains of cancer researchers affiliated with Kanzius.

One benefit from journal publication of the cancer-targeting tests is the new publicity about Kanzius, his invention and the high regard he has gained in the legitimate scientific community. Ordinary people -- those who have fought cancer and those who fear it -- can understand the basic concepts of the Kanzius treatment. They are unlikely to let a plausible cancer treatment slip from public sight.

In the new scientific study, researchers attached specific antibodies, or proteins, to the nanoparticles, and placed the treated nanoparticles and live cancer cells in a specimen dish. Radio waves blasted the tagged cancer cells for two minutes. Nearly 100 percent of the pancreatic and colorectal cells were killed; hardly any of the control group's cells were destroyed.

"It shows that we can target specific types of cancer. We're now working on other types of cancer cells, including breast, prostate, leukemia and ovarian," Curley said.

Curley has much more work ahead, including writing six to eight additional scientific manuscripts in 2009. Approval from the Food and Drug Administration for human trials could follow in late 2010, with Erie eventually involved in Phase II trials at the Regional Cancer Center in Erie.
Would we like to see cancer cured today or tomorrow? Absolutely. Are we confident that the Kanzius Project is speeding in the right direction? No doubt.



MX2009005080
RF SYSTEMS AND METHODS FOR PROCESSING SALT WATER

Inventor:  KANZIUS JOHN [US] ; RUSTUM ROY
Applicant:  KC ENERGY LLC [US]
EC:   C01B3/04B; Y02E60/36D     IPC:   C01B3/04; C01B3/00          
Classification: - international:     C01B3/04; C01B3/00 - European:     C01B3/04B; Y02E60/36D
Also published as: WO2008064002 // JP2010509565 //    EP2109500 // CA2669709

Abstract -- Systems and methods for processing salt water and/or solutions containing salt water with RF energy. Exemplary systems and methods may use RF energy to combust salt water, produce hydrogen from salt water or solutions containing salt water, to volatilize a secondary fuel present in solutions containing salt water, to produce and combust hydrogen obtained from salt water or solutions containing salt water, to volatilize and combust secondary fuel sources present in solutions containing salt water, to desalinate seawater, and to carry out the electrolysis of water are presented. An exemplary system may comprise a reservoir for containing a salt water solution or salt water mixture; a reaction chamber having an inlet and an outlet; a feed line operatively connecting the reservoir to the inlet of the reaction chamber; an RF transmitter having an RF generator in circuit communication with a transmission head, the RF generator capable of generating an RF signal absorbable by the salt water solution or the salt water mixture having a frequency for transmission via the transmission head; and an RF receiver; wherein the reaction chamber is positioned such that it is between the RF transmission head and the RF receiver.

Related Cases

[0001] This case claims priority to and any other benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/865,530, filed November 13, 2006, entitled RF SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR PROCESSING SALT WATER (Attorney Docket 30064/04004) ("the '530 Application"); U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/938,613, filed May 17, 2007, entitled RF SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR PROCESSING SALT WATER II (Attorney Docket 30064/04008) ("the '613 Application"); U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/953,829, filed August 3, 2007, entitled RF SYSTEM AND METHODS FOR PROCESSING SALT WATER III (Attorney Docket 30064/04009); and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/915,345, filed on May 1, 2007, and entitled FIELD GENERATOR FOR TARGETED CELL ABLATION (Attorney Docket 30274/04036), the entire disclosures of which, including all appendices, diagrams, figures, and photographs of which, are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.

Field of the Invention

[0002 ] The present invention relates to systems and methods for processing water utilizing radio frequency (RF) energy, such as, for example, RF systems and methods for combustion of salt water and/or solutions containing salt water, RF systems and methods for desalinating seawater, RF systems and methods for heating seawater, salt water, and/or solutions containing salt water, RF systems and methods for generating steam, RF systems and methods for volatilizing secondary fuels, RF systems and methods for the electrolysis of salt water and salt water mixtures, RF systems and methods for producing hydrogen from salt salt water and salt water mixtures, RF systems and methods for producing hydrogen from salt water and/or solutions containing salt water, RF systems and methods for combustion of volatiles produced from solutions containing salt water, and/or RF systems and methods for combustion of hydrogen produced from salt water and/or solutions containing salt water.

Background of the Invention

[0003] Hydrogen gas is combustible and is therefore a potentially viable fuel source particularly for use in internal combustion engines. Water can be a source of hydrogen gas and unlike crude oil, which is used to produce gasoline, water and particularly seawater has an advantage over crude oil in that it is present on earth in great abundance. Furthermore, the burning of hydrogen produces water, an environmentally clean byproduct. Many other volatile organic compounds, such as ethanol for example, are also combustible and so they too are potentially viable fuel sources for use in internal combustion engines. Likewise, ethanol has an advantage over crude oil in that ethanol can be synthesized from fermentation of com, sugar cane or other agricultural products and it is therefore a renewable resource, while by contrast crude oil is not.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0004] Figures 1-7 are high-level block diagrams of exemplary RF systems for RF processing of salt water and/or solutions containing salt water, such as combusting salt water or solutions containing salt water, generating steam from salt water, producing and collecting hydrogen from salt water or solutions containing salt water, and desalinating seawater;

[0005] Figures 8A-8C, 9A-9C are various views of exemplary RF transmission and RF reception heads;

[0006] Figures 10-12, 16, and 16a are schematic diagrams of exemplary RF circuits for exemplary RF systems for RF processing of salt water and/or solutions containing salt water, such as combusting salt water or solutions containing salt water, generating steam from salt water, producing and collecting hydrogen from salt water or solutions containing salt water, and desalinating seawater; [0007] Figures 13-15 are top, top/side perspective, and side views of an exemplary RF coupling circuit for exemplary RF systems for RF processing of salt water and/or solutions containing salt water, such as combusting salt water or solutions containing salt water, generating steam from salt water, producing and collecting hydrogen from salt water or solutions containing salt water, and desalinating seawater;

[0008] Figure 17 is a medium-level flowchart of an exemplary embodiment of an RF methodology for producing and collecting hydrogen gas from salt water and solutions containing salt water;

[0009] Figure 18(a) and 18(b) are medium level flow charts of exemplary embodiments of an RF methodology for producing and combusting hydrogen gas from salt water and for producing and combusting hydrogen gas and producing and combusting other volatiles from solutions containing salt water;

[0010] Figure 19(a) and 19(b) are medium level flow charts of exemplary embodiments of an RF methodology for producing and combusting hydrogen gas from salt water and for producing and combusting hydrogen gas and producing and combusting other volatiles from solutions containing salt water, and transferring the chemical energy generated by the combustion of the hydrogen gas and other volatiles into mechanical energy capable of moving a piston;

[0011] Figure 20 is a medium level flow chart of an exemplary embodiment of an RF methodology for desalinating seawater;

[0012 ] Figure 21 is a medium level flow chart of an exemplary embodiment of an RF methodology for carrying out the electrolysis of water;

[0013 ] Figure 22 is a schematic illustration showing exemplary transmission and reception enclosures with their top walls removed;

[0014] Figure 23 is a high-level flowchart showing an exemplary method of combusting salt water and solutions containing salt water with RF energy; [0015] Figure 24 is a schematic illustration showing an exemplary sealed transmission enclosure which may be suitable for lowering into the ground; and

[0016] Figures 25 - 26 are medium level flowcharts of exemplary embodiments of an RF methodology for combusting gas generated from a liquid by a transmitted RF signal.

Summary

[0017] Systems are presented for using RF energy to combust salt water and/or various solutions containing salt water, to produce hydrogen from salt water, to produce volatiles from solutions containing salt water, to desalinate seawater, and/or to carry out the electrolysis of water. An exemplary system may comprise a reservoir for containing salt water that is a mixture comprising water and salt, the salt water having an effective amount of salt dissolved in the water; a reaction chamber having an inlet and an outlet; a feed line operatively connecting the reservoir to the inlet of the reaction chamber; an RF transmitter having an RF generator in circuit communication with a transmission head, the RF generator capable of generating an RF signal at least partially absorbable by the salt water having at least one frequency for transmission via the transmission head; and an RF receiver; wherein the reaction chamber is positioned such that at least a portion of the reaction chamber is between the RF transmission head and the RF receiver. Other exemplary systems may comprise a reservoir for containing a solution that is a mixture of water and salt and optionally containing (i) at least one additive, or (ii) at least one secondary fuel, or (iii) mixtures thereof.

[0018] Similarly, methods are presented for using RF energy to combust salt water and solutions containing salt water, to desalinate seawater, to produce hydrogen from salt water and solutions containing salt water, and/or to carry out the electrolysis of salt water. An exemplary method may comprise providing salt water comprising a mixture of water and at least one salt; or a salt water solution comprising a mixture of water and at least one salt and optionally containing (i) at least one additive, or (ii) at least one secondary fuel, or (iii) mixtures thereof; the salt water or salt water solution having an effective amount of the salt dissolved in the water; providing an RF transmitter having an RF generator in circuit communication with a transmission head, the RF generator capable of generating an RF signal at least partially absorbable by the salt water or salt water component of the solution containing salt water and having at least one frequency for transmission via the transmission head; arranging the transmission head near the salt water or solution containing salt water such that the RF signal transmitted via the transmission head interacts with at least some of the salt water; and transmitting the RF signal via the transmission head for a time sufficient to combust the salt water or to heat the solution containing salt water to volatilize and to combust a secondary fuel source that may be optionally present. If hydrogen gas is created from the salt water or the solution containing salt water by the RF signal, the RF signal may also be transmitted via the transmission head sufficient to combust the hydrogen gas so produced.

Detailed Description

[0019] In the accompanying drawings which are incorporated in and constitute a part of the specification, exemplary embodiments of the invention are illustrated, which, together with a general description of the invention given above, and the detailed description given below, serve to example principles of the invention.

General Terms

[0020] "Additive" as used herein is a chemical compound having solubility, miscibility, or compatibility with various solutions of salt water (including sea water, salt water, or solutions containing salt water and optionally containing at least one secondary fuel) that furthermore is capable of altering the responsiveness of the various solutions of salt water to stimulation by RF energy.

[0021] "Circuit communication" as used herein is used to indicate a communicative relationship between devices. Direct electrical, optical, and electromagnetic connections and indirect electrical, optical, and electromagnetic connections are examples of circuit communication. Two devices are in circuit communication if a signal from one is received by the other, regardless of whether the signal is modified by some other device. For example, two devices separated by one or more of the following - transformers, optoisolators, digital or analog buffers, analog integrators, other electronic circuitry, fiber optic transceivers, or even satellites - are in circuit communication if a signal from one reaches the other, even though the signal is modified by the intermediate device(s). As a final example, two devices not directly connected to each other (e.g. keyboard and memory), but both capable of interfacing with a third device, (e.g., a CPU), are in circuit communication.

[0022 ] "Combustion" as used herein indicates a process that rapidly produces heat and light (perhaps caused by a rapid chemical change and with or without "burning" or "oxidation" in the classic sense). Salt water and solutions containing salt water respond to RF energy in many of the various systems and methods taught herein with rapid heating and rapid generation of light, which may be visible, UV, TR, etc. This is considered "combustion" herein, even though it may or may not be "burning" in the classic sense. "Combustion" herein also is used to indicate more typical incendiary "combustion," i.e., the process of burning in which a rapid chemical change occurs that produces heat and light, which includes burning in the classical sense of the products produced from salt water reacting with RF. For example, when hydrogen is combusted or burned in air the hydrogen is chemically oxidized into water and undergoes such a rapid reaction that a flame is produced and the water is discharged in the form of steam.

[0023 ] "Desalinate" as used herein is used to indicate the process of removing salt and other chemicals from water. For example, when desalination of seawater is carried out through heating, e.g., boiling, steam is produced and collected. When the collected steam is subsequently condensed back into a liquid, pure water is obtained free of any salt or minerals. "Electrolysis" as used herein is used to indicate the process of applying energy to water in order to decompose the water into its constituent elements hydrogen and oxygen. Energy can be applied in the form of either electrical energy, as for example in the application of an electric current, or in the form of heat energy.

[0024] "Operatively connected" or "operatively connecting" as used herein is used to indicate that a functional connection (e.g., a mechanical or physical connection or an electrical or optical or electromagnetic or magnetic connection) exists between the components of a system. [0025] "Salt water" as used herein is used to indicate a mixture comprising water and salt, the salt water having an effective amount of salt dissolved in the water. "Solution containing salt water" and "salt water solutions" are used interchangeably and as used herein indicate a mixture comprising salt water and optionally containing one or more of the following: (i) at least one additive, (ii) at least one secondary fuel, or (iii) mixtures of both. Hence, a solution containing salt water may comprise only salt water. "Salt water mixture" as used herein is used to indicate a mixture containing salt water that is used in conducting electrolysis with the various systems and methods taught herein.

[0026] "Secondary fuel" as used herein is used to indicate combustible organic compounds that can be made volatile and that have solubility, miscibility, or compatibility with various salt water solutions (including salt water, sea water, or salt water solutions containing salt water and optionally containing at least one additive). As used herein, a secondary fuel may be the only substance that is combusting; thus, use of the term secondary fuel does not necessary require that there is a primary fuel also combusting. Salt and salt solutions may be used to increase the combustion of secondary fuels without the salt or salt solution also combusting.

Systems

[0027] Referring to the drawings and to Figures 1-16A, various different views of exemplary systems and system components are shown. It is believed that these systems and components may be used with virtually all the various RF absorption enhancers and virtually all the various methods discussed herein.

[0028] The exemplary systems of Figures 1-4 include an RF generator 102 in circuit communication with a transmission head 104 for transmitting through a reaction chamber 106 an RF signal 108 generated by the RF generator 102 and transmitted by the transmitter head 104. The reaction chamber 106 may be open or closed, depending on the specific application. The reaction chamber may be, for example, a vessel or a cylinder with an associated piston.

Figure 1 [0029] Referring to Figure 1, there is shown a first exemplary embodiment of an RF system 100 that uses an RF signal 108 to process solutions containing salt water 110 in the reaction chamber 106. For example, the RF signal 108 may combust the solution containing salt water 110. As another example, the RF signal 108 may heat the solution containing salt water 110 for further processing, e.g., steam collection and condensing to desalinate a solution containing salt water 110. As yet another example, the RF signal 108 may produce hydrogen from the solution containing salt water 110 or the RF signal may heat the solution containing salt water and volatilize any secondary fuel that may be optionally contained in the solution. The hydrogen produced as well as any volatilized secondary fuel optionally present may be collected as a gas and stored for various uses, e.g., stored for use as a fuel. Alternative, the hydrogen or any volatilized secondary fuel or both may be combusted in the reaction chamber 106. Exemplary system 100 comprises an RF generator 102 in circuit communication with a transmission head 104. A reaction chamber 106 is positioned such that at least a portion of the reaction chamber 106 is RF coupled to the transmission head 104. hi exemplary system 100, the RF generator 102 communicates an RF signal for transmission to the transmission head 104. The RF signal 108 transmitted by the transmission head 104 passes through at least a portion of the reaction chamber 106. A solution containing salt water (and also a solution optionally containing (i) at least one additive, (ii) at least one secondary fuel, or (iii) mixtures thereof) 1 10 contained within the reaction chamber 106 is positioned such that the solution containing salt water 1 10 (and in particular the salt water component of the solution) absorbs at least some of the RF signal 108. Optionally, the RF generator 102 may be controlled adjusting the frequency and/or power and/or envelope, etc. of the generated RF signal and/or may have a mode in which an RF signal at a predetermined frequency and power are transmitted via transmission head 104. In addition, optionally, the RF generator 102 provides an RF signal 108 with variable amplitudes, pulsed amplitudes, multiple frequencies, etc.

[0030] The solution containing salt water 110 absorbs energy as the RF signal 108 travels through the reaction chamber 106. The more energy that is absorbed by the salt water component of the solution containing salt water 110 the higher the temperature increase in the area which leads to water decomposition and hydrogen production, and in instances where the solution containing salt water 1 10 also contains a secondary fuel, this may also lead to volatization and to combustion of the secondary fuel instead of or in addition to decomposition of the salt water and hydrogen production. As even more energy is absorbed by the salt water component of the solution containing salt water 110, combustion of the hydrogen that is being produced eventually occurs. The rate of energy absorption by the solution containing salt water 110 can be increased by increasing the RF signal 108 strength, which increases the amount of energy traveling through the reaction chamber 106. Other means of increasing the rate of energy absorption may include but are not limited to concentrating the signal on a localized area of the solution containing salt water 110, or further mixing with the solution containing salt water at least one additive that is appropriately selected from various chemical species to be capable of altering the rate of energy absorption of the solution containing salt water 1 10 and as a result may be able to increase the rate of energy absorption by the solution containing salt water 1 10. Examples of additives that it is believed may be useful in this regard include surfactants, chemical species that form azeotropic mixtures with water, and chemical species that alter the freezing point of water.

Figures 2-4



[0031] As shown in Figures 2-4, exemplary systems may also include a receiver head 1 12 and an associated current path 1 14 to permit the RF signal 108 to be coupled through the reaction chamber 106. The systems 200, 300, 400 also use an RF signal 108 to process solutions 110 in the reaction chamber 106. For example, the RF signal 108 may combust the solution containing salt water 110. As another example, the RF signal 108 may heat the salt water component of the solution containing salt water 110 in preparation for further processing (e.g.: in instances where the solution containing salt water 110 is salt water alone, steam collection and condensing to desalinate the salt water; in instances where the solution containing salt water contains a secondary fuel, the volatization of the secondary fuel). As yet another example, the RF signal 108 may produce hydrogen from or may volatilize a secondary fuel contained within the solution containing salt water 110 and the hydrogen or the volatilized secondary fuel or both may be collected as a gas and stored for various uses, e.g., stored for use as a fuel. In the alternative, the hydrogen produced or the volatilized secondary fuel or both may be combusted in the reaction chamber 106. [0032 ] Referring to Figure 2, the exemplary system 200 has a transmission head 104 and receiver head 112 arranged proximate to and on either side at least a portion of the reaction chamber 106. This allows at least a portion of the solution containing salt water 110 in the reaction chamber 106 to be exposed to the RF signal 108 transmitted by the transmission head 104. Some portion of the RF system may be tuned so that the receiver head 1 12 receives at least a portion of the RF signal 108 transmitted via the transmission head 104. As a result, the receiver head 112 receives the RF signal 108 that is transmitted via the transmission head 104.

[0033 ] The heads 104, 112 may each or both have associated tuning circuitry such as pi- networks or tunable pi-networks, to increase throughput and generate a voltage in the area of the reaction chamber 106 and in the solution containing salt water salt 110 contained within. Thus, as shown in Figure 3, the transmission head 104 may have an associated tuning circuit 1 16 in circuit communication between the RF generator 102 and the transmission head 104. Additionally, or in the alternative, as shown in Figure 3, the current path 114 may comprise the receiver head 112 being grounded.

[0034] Referring to Figure 3, the transmission head 104 and receiver head 112 may be insulated from direct contact with the reaction chamber 106. The transmission head 104 and receiver head 112 may be insulated by means of an air gap 118. An optional means of insulating the transmission head 104 and receiver head 1 12 from the reaction chamber 106 is shown in Figure 4. The exemplary system 400 includes inserting an insulating layer or material 410 such as, for example, Teflon<(R)> between the heads 104, 112 and the reaction chamber 106. Other optional means include providing an insulation area on the heads 104, 1 12, and allowing the heads to be put in direct contact with the reaction chamber 106. The transmission head 104 and the receiver head 1 12, described in more detail below, may include one or more plates of electrically conductive material.

[0035] One optional method of inducing a higher temperature in the solution containing salt water 110 includes using a receiver head 112 that is larger than the transmission head 104 (although it was earlier believed that a smaller head would concentrate the RF to enhance RF heating, a larger reception head was found to generate a higher temperature, perhaps because of the use of a high-Q resonant circuit described in more detail below). For example, a single 6" circular copper plate may be used on the Tx side and a single square 9.5" copper plate may be used on the Rx side. Optionally, an RP absorption enhancer may be added to the solution containing salt water 110. An RF absorption enhancer is any means or method of increasing the tendency of the solution containing salt water 110 to absorb more energy from the RF signal that the salt water component of the solution containing salt water would otherwise absorb. Suitable RF absorption enhancers include, for example, suspended particles of electrically conductive material, such as metals, e.g., iron, various combination of metals, e.g., iron and other metals, or magnetic particles. The many types of RF absorption enhancers are discussed in greater detail below.

[0036] The RF generator 102 may be any suitable RF signal generator, generating an RF signal at any one or more of the RF frequencies or frequency ranges discussed herein. The RF signal 108 generated by the RF generator 102 and transmitted by the transmission head 104 may have a fundamental frequency in the HF range or the VHF range or an RF signal at some other fundamental frequency. The RF signal 108 may be a signal having one or more fundamental frequencies in the range(s) of 1-2 MHz, and/or 2-3 MHz, and/or 3-4 MHz, and/or 4-5 MHz, and/or 5-6 MHz, and/or 6-7 MHz, and/or 7-8 MHz, and/or 8-9 MHz, and/or 9-10 MHz, and/or 10-1 1 MHz, and/or 11-12 MHz, or 12-13 MHz, or 13-14 MHz, or 14-15 MHz. The RF signal 108 may have a fundamental frequency at 13.56 MHz. The RF generator 102 may be an ENI Model No. OEM-12B (Part No. OEM-12B-07) RF generator, which is marked with U.S. Pat. No. 5,323,329 and is known to be used to generate a 13.56 MHz RF signal for etching systems. Among other things, the ENI OEM-12B RF generator has an RF power on/off switch to switch a high-power (0-1250 Watt) RF signal, has an RF power output adjust to adjust the power of the signal generated, and has an RF power meter to measure the power of the RF signal being generated that can be switched to select either forward or reverse power metering. The power meter in reverse mode can be used to calibrate a tuning circuit, as explained above, by adjusting any variable components of the tuning circuit until minimum power is reflected back to the power meter (minimum VSWR). The ENI OEM-12B RF generator may be cooled by a Thermo Neslab Merlin Series M33 recirculating process chiller. A at 13.56 MHz RF signal from the ENI OEM-12B RF generator having a power of about 800-1000 Watts will combust salt water. In the alternative, the RF generator may be a commercial transmitter, e.g., the transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver. An RF signal can be generated at about 13.56 MHz (one of the FCC-authorized frequencies for ISM equipment) by the transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver by clipping certain blocking components as known to those skilled in the art. The RF generator and transmission head may have associated antenna tuner circuitry (not shown) in circuit communication therewith or integral therewith, e.g., automatic or manual antenna tuner circuitry, to adjust to the impedance of transmission head and the reaction chamber (and a receiver, if any). The transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver has such integral antenna tuner circuitry (pressing a "Tune" button causes the unit to automatically adjust to the load presented to the RF generator portion). The RF generator and transmission head may have associated antenna tuner circuitry (not shown) in circuit communication therewith or integral therewith, e.g., automatic or manual antenna tuner circuitry, to adjust to the combined impedance of the reaction chamber and the receiver and compensate for changes therein. The transmitter portion of a YAESU brand FT-1000MP Mark-V transceiver has such integral antenna tuner circuitry. Various configurations for the transmission head and reception head are possible, as exemplified herein.

Figures 5-6



[0037 ] The transmission head 104 may be any of a number of different transmitter head configurations, such as an electrically conductive plate having a coaxial coil in circuit communication therewith. In the alternative, as exemplified by Figure 5, the transmission head 104 may comprise (or consist of) an electrically conductive plate 502 (e.g., a 6" diameter, flat, planar plate made of 0.020" stainless steel) without a corresponding coil. The transmission plate 502 may be circular and may be sized depending on the size of the target area and the desired voltage field generated by the plate. Similarly, as exemplified by Figure 6, the receiver head 112 may comprise (or consist of) an electrically conductive plate 602 {e.g., a 6" diameter, flat, planar plate made of 0.020" stainless steel) without a corresponding coil. The reception plate 602 may be circular and may be sized depending on the size of the target area and the desired voltage field generated by the plate. The reception plate 602 may be sized substantially smaller or substantially larger than the transmission plate 502 to change the field generated in the reaction chamber 106 by the coupled RF signal 108. In the alternative, either the reception plate 602 or the transmission plate 502 (which includes both of them) may be parabolic plates with their convex side facing the target area (not shown). The plates may be made of copper (e.g., 0.090" copper plate) instead of stainless steel.

Figure 7-9



[0038] In the alternative, the transmission head 104 or receiver head 112 may each or both be comprised of a series of spaced, stacked electrically conductive plates. The spaced, stacked electrically conductive plates may be coaxial, circular plates and may have sequentially decreasing diameters. Figure 7 shows an exemplary system 700 wherein the receiver head 112 comprising spaced, stacked, electrically conductive, coaxial, and circular plates that have sequentially decreasing diameters. The plates of exemplary receiver head 800 may be constructed as described in Figures 8A-8C (e.g., sized as shown with an Aluminum base) and may be insulated from each other as described in Figures 8A-8C. The plates may be made of copper (e.g., 0.090" copper plate) instead of stainless steel.

[0039] Similarly, the transmission head 104 may comprise a series of spaced, stacked electrically conductive plates. The spaced, stacked electrically conductive plates may be coaxial, circular plates and may have sequentially decreasing diameters. Figures 9A-9C show an exemplary transmission head 900 comprising spaced, stacked, electrically conductive, coaxial, and circular plates that have sequentially decreasing diameters. The plates of exemplary transmission head 900 may be constructed as described in Figures 9A- 9C (e.g., sized as shown with a Teflon base) and may be insulated from each other as described in Figures 9A-9C. In the alternative, plates of exemplary receiver head 800 and/or the plates of exemplary transmission head 900 may be in circuit communication with each other, e.g., directly electrically coupled in their spaced configuration with electrically conductive fasteners. The plates may be made of copper (e.g., 0.090" copper plate) instead of stainless steel. A transmission head 900 with electrically insulated plates may be used with a receiver head 800 with electrically connected plates, and vice versa.

Figures 10-16 [0040] The tuning circuit 116 may be in circuit communication between the RF generator 102 and the transmission head 104 and may comprise and pi-network or a tunable pi- network. An exemplary tuning circuit 1000 is shown in Figure 10 formed with components listed in that figure. Exemplary component values for Figures 10- 16a are shown in Table I. Tuning circuit 1000 may be connected between an RF generator 102 and a transmission head 104. Thus, as shown in Figure 11 an exemplary system may include an ENI OEM-12B RF generator in circuit communication with exemplary tuning circuit 1000, which is in circuit communication with exemplary transmission head 900 to generate an RF signal 108 through the reaction chamber 106 by coupling the RF signal 108 to a receiver head 112. The receiver head 112 may be the same as exemplary receiver head 800, as shown in the exemplary system of Figure 11.

[0041] The exemplary implementation of the exemplary tuning circuit 1000 used in Figures 10-15 appears to show a voltage gain of about 15-to-l with respect to the voltage of the RF signal generated by the ENI RF generator. Thus exemplary tuning circuit 1000 may be considered to be a voltage step up transformer. Voltages of the larger plate of the transmission head have been estimated to be in excess of 40,000 volts per inch. Accordingly, some or all of the transmission head and/or the receiving head may be sealed, enclosed in an enclosure, or otherwise encapsulated in an insulating material.

[0042 ] Figures 13-15 show different views of an exemplary implementation of portions of the exemplary system of Figure 12. As shown in those figures, in implementing the exemplary tuning circuit 1000 used in Figures 10-12, the larger inductor L2 may be positioned with its longitudinal axis substantially coaxial with the central axis of plates of transmission head FPi, and the central axis of the small inductor Li may be substantially perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the larger inductor L2. Other components may be used to implement tuning circuit 1000 instead of the exemplary components listed on Figures 10-12. For example, the smaller inductor Lj may be silver-coated or may be made of 12 turns of 5/16" copper tubing (or more turns of larger diameter copper tubing) for increased current carrying capacity (smaller inductor Li can get relatively hot in exemplary embodiments), and the capacitor Ci may be made from thirteen (13) 100 pF capacitors instead of eleven (11) for a 1300 pF capacitor C1. As another example, the plates in the heads may be made of copper (e.g., made from 0.090" copper plate) instead of stainless steel. In the exemplary implementation shown in Figures 13-15, a region of the target area slightly closer to the transmission head (about 60/40 distance ratio) heats slightly more than dead center between the two heads. The grounded portion of the components of Figures 10-15 may be mounted to a copper sheet 1300 or other suitable conducting sheet, and the conducting stand of reception head FP2 may be mounted on a copper sheet 1500 or other suitable conducting sheet, as shown in Figure 15. The grounded plates 1300, 1500 may be connected by one or more copper straps 1302.

Figure 16


[0043] Figure 16 shows another exemplary system 1600 that is the same as system 1200 (shown in Figures 8A-8C, 9A-9C, 12-15 and as described above), except the transmission head FPi' has a single 6" plate, the one 6" circular plate of transmission head FPi, and the three 6" and 4" and 3" plates of receiver head FP2 are made from 0.090" thick copper, capacitor Ci is 1300 pF instead of 1100 pF, and the smaller inductor Li is silver-coated and made of 12 turns of 5/16" copper tubing. Figure 16a shows another exemplary system 1600 that is the same as system 1600 except that the receiver head FP2' has a single 6" circular plate. The transmitting portion and the receiving portion may be enclosed in one or more suitable enclosures, e.g., enclosures 3502, 3504 in Figure 22. Open circuit voltage readings at the transmission head of exemplary physical embodiments have taken. Open circuit voltages of the RF field at 100 W of transmitted power have been measured with a broadband oscilloscope at about 6000 volts (e.g., about 5800 V) peak-to-peak amplitude, which rises to about 22,000 volts at 1000 W of transmitted power (Figure 16A in the configuration of Figures 13-15). Additionally, it is believed that in these exemplary systems the voltage and current are not in phase (e.g., out of phase by a certain phase angle). Additionally, perhaps improved RF heating efficiency and/or RF transmission efficiency may be realized by changing the phase relationship between the voltage and current to a predetermined phase angle or real-time determined (or optimal) phase angle. In addition, the Q of exemplary physical embodiments have been estimated using bandwidth (S9 or 3 dB point) in excess of 250 (e.g., 250-290) (Figure 16A in the configuration of Figures 13-15). As should be apparent, the RF heating using these exemplary embodiments is significantly different than inductive heating (even substantially different from inductive heating at similar frequencies).

[0044] As shown in Figure 22, the circuits may be mounted in two enclosures: a transmission enclosure 3502 and a reception enclosure 3504, with a reaction chamber 3506 there between. Exemplary transmission enclosure 3502 has grounded metallic walls 3512 on all sides except the side 3513 facing the reception enclosure 3504 (only four such grounded walls 3512a-3512d of five such walls 3512 of exemplary transmission enclosure 3502 are shown; the top grounded wall has been removed). Similarly, exemplary reception enclosure 3504 has grounded metallic walls 3514 on all sides except the side 3515 facing the transmission enclosure 3502 (only four such grounded walls 3514a-3514d of five such walls 3514 of exemplary reception enclosure 3504 are shown; the top grounded wall has been removed). The grounded walls 3512 of transmission enclosure 3502 are in circuit communication with the grounded walls 3514 of reception enclosure 3504. Facing walls 3513 and 3515 may be made from TEFLON or another suitable electrical insulator. Transmission enclosure 3502 and/or reception enclosure 3504 may be movably mounted to permit variable spacing between the transmission head and the reception head to accommodate create differently-sized reaction chambers 3506. Facing walls 3513 and 3515 may have associated openings (not shown) to which various racks and other structures can be connected to support a body part or other target structure between the transmission head and the reception head. Dispersive pads (not shown) may be provided for direct grounding of the target or capacitive grounding of the target structure, which grounding pads may be connected to the grounded walls 3512, 3514 (such direct or capacitive grounding pads may be help smaller target structures absorb relatively higher levels of RF and heat better). The transmission side components 3522 may be mounted inside exemplary transmission enclosure 3502 and the reception side components 3524 may be mounted inside exemplary reception enclosure 3504. Exemplary transmission enclosure 3502 and reception enclosure 3504 both may be cooled with temperature-sensing fans that turn on responsive to the heat inside the enclosures 3502, 3504 reaching a predetermined thermal level. Exemplary transmission enclosure 3502 and reception enclosure 3504 also have a plurality of pass- through connectors, e.g., permitting the RF signal to pass from the RF signal generator into the exemplary transmission enclosure 3502 (perhaps via a power meter) and permitting the received signal to pass outside exemplary reception enclosure 3504 to a power meter and back inside reception enclosure 3504. In this exemplary embodiment, the enclosures 3502, 3504 may be moved to vary the spacing between the distal, adjacent ends of the heads from about two inches to a foot or more apart. Various other embodiments may have different ranges of spacing between the distal, adjacent ends of the heads, e.g., from about 2" to about 20" or more apart or from about 2" to about 40" or more apart.

[0045] Each such enclosure may have grounded (e.g., aluminum) walls with a grounded (e.g., copper) base plate, except for the walls proximate the transmission head FPi' and the reception head FP2., which may be made from an electrical insulator such as ceramic or TEFLON brand PTFE, e.g., TEFLON brand virgin grade electrical grade PTFE, or another insulator. The walls may be grounded to the copper plate using copper straps and, if a plurality of enclosures are used, the enclosures may have copper strap between then to ground the enclosures together. A long standard fluorescent light bulb can be used to confirm effective grounding (e.g., by turning on the RF signal and repeatedly placing the light bulb proximate the transmission head to illuminate the bulb and then moving the bulb to locations around the enclosure watching for the light bulb to cease illumination, which confirms acceptable grounding). The grounded walls may have a layer of electrical insulator on the inside thereof, such as ceramic or TEFLON brand PTFE, e.g., TEFLON brand virgin grade electrical grade PTFE, or another insulator.

[0046] The exemplary systems of Figures 12-16 are believed to generate a very high voltage field in the target area, which very high voltage field can be used to heat many different types of RF absorbing particles as part of RF absorption enhancers in connection with the various methods taught herein. For example, the exemplary systems of Figures 12- 16 are believed to be capable of heating and combusting salt water solutions in connection with the various methods taught herein.

[0047] Figure 24 illustrates an exemplary transmission arrangement 2400 that is adapted for at least partial submersion in a liquid. The enclosure includes a sealed circuit housing 2405 in which is enclosed a tuning circuit 2420 and a transmission head 2425. The tuning circuit receives an RF signal from an RF generator 2410 that may be enclosed in the enclosure as shown or located outside of the enclosure 2405. An insulated region 2430, e.g, an air pocket or pocket of another gas, is disposed between the transmission head 2425 and the enclosure 2405. The enclosure may also include a mounting means, such as a hook or loop 2450, that is used to mechanically couple the enclosure to a cable or other similar mechanism for lowering the enclosure into a hole or confined treatment area, e.g., with a winch or crane (not shown) or other means for mowering. If the RF generator 2410 is located outside the sealed enclosure 2405, an insulated electrical conductor (not shown) may be provided to place the circuit 2420 in circuit communication with the RF generator. During construction, air from the portion of the enclosure 2405 surrounding the coupling circuit may be evacuated and the enclosure 2405 filled with an inert gas, such as nitrogen or xenon and then sealed. The coupling circuit may be tunable or not (e.g., pre-tuned), and may be the same as any of the coupling circuits shown or described herein, with virtually any of the transmission heads shown herein. If the coupling circuit portion of the enclosure 2405 is filled with an inert gas, it is believed that much higher powered RF signals may be coupled using the various coupling circuits disclosed herein, e.g., Figures 13-15 or Figure 16a. In the alternative, if the coupling circuit portion of the enclosure 2405 is filled with an inert gas, it is believed that significantly smaller coupling circuits may be used vis-a-vis the exemplary coupling circuit of Figures 13-15, because smaller components may be used (by increasing the voltage break down of the coupled components within the enclosure). If the coupling circuit is tunable, such tuning may be accomplished using remotely controllable tunable components, e.g., variable capacitors having stepper motors configured to change the value of the capacitor, or with remote cables to remotely mechanically change the value of the capacitor. Thus, a control unit remove from the enclosure (not shown) may be used to send electrical signals to tune the circuit to reduce or remove reflected power or a user may mechanically remotely tune the circuit to reduce or remove reflected power. Although a grounded reception head (not shown) may be used in this configuration (e.g., also mounted to the enclosure and configured to pe[pi]nit water to flow between the transmission and reception heads or between the insulated region and the reception head) it is believed that it may be possible to tune the circuit without a reception head per se, using the target water as a receiver and a current path (as a sort of grounded reception head).

Methods [0048] Solutions containing salt water and that optionally contain (i) at least one additive, or (ii) at least one secondary fuel, or (iii) mixtures thereof may be combusted using RF signals by passing a high-voltage RF signal through the solution containing salt water. In a general sense, the methods may be characterized by providing a solution containing salt water and that may optionally contain (i) at least one additive, or (ii) at least one secondary fuel, or (iii) mixtures thereof and passing an RF signal through the solution containing salt water to combust the solution containing salt water (Figure 23). Alternatively, in a general sense the methods may be characterized as methods for adding salt to enhance the heating of water or other liquids. Salt water has been combusted using an exemplary system that included a circuit implementation of the circuit of Figure 16 being used to transmit an RF signal through the salt water to combust the salt water. A solution of OCEANIC brand Natural Sea Salt Mix having a specific gravity of about 1.026 g/cm<3> was used. A 13.56 MHz RF signal from an ENI OEM-12B RF generator having a power of about 800-1000 Watts (e.g., about 900 Watts) was used to combust the salt water.

Figure 17


[0049] Figure 17 illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 1700 for producing hydrogen from salt water or from solutions containing salt water.

[0050] The methodology begins at block 1702. At block 1704 the salt water is provided. The salt water comprises water and at least one salt wherein an effective amount of salt is dissolved in the water, hi certain embodiments salt is added to water or other liquids to enhance heating. Optionally, a solution containing salt water may be used that contains salt water and (i) at least one additive, or (ii) at least one secondary fuel, or (iii) mixtures thereof. The salt can be any type of useful salt which is water soluble. Several examples of useful salts are described in greater detail below. An effective amount of salt is the amount of salt necessary to absorb sufficient energy output from the RF signal such that salt water or a solution containing salt water undergoes decomposition to generate hydrogen. OCEANIC brand Natural Sea Salt Mix may be used to approximate the composition of naturally occurring seawater having an effective amount of salt, and that may be used further as either salt water or as the salt water component in a solution containing salt water that is used in the systems and methods discussed and shown herein. Such approximations of naturally occurring seawater may have a specific gravity of about 1.02 g/cm<3> to 1.03 g/cm<3>, e.g., between about 1.020-1.024 or about 28-32 PPT, as read off of a hydrometer. As an approximation of naturally occurring seawater, a mixture of water with the above-identified sea salt having a specific gravity of about 1.026 g/cm<3> (as measured with a refractometer) was used in exemplary systems and methods. In the alternative, it is believed that actual seawater may be used in the systems and methods discussed and shown herein.

[0051] It is contemplated that a reservoir of salt water or a solution containing salt water could be made beforehand and stored in a tank such that it would be available upon demand. For example, the storage tank could be connected to the reaction chamber by means of a feed tube. In this manner, a supply of the previously prepared salt water or solution could be pumped from the storage tank into the reaction chamber via the feed tube; wherein the feed tube has one end connected to the storage tank and the other end connected to an inlet present on the reaction chamber. Again, it is believed that ordinary sea water may be used.

[0052 ] At block 1706 an RF transmitter is provided. The RF transmitter may be any type of RF transmitter generating a suitable RF signal. RF transmitter may be a variable frequency RF transmitter. Optionally, the RF transmitter is also multi-frequency transmitter capable of providing multiple- frequency RF signals. Optionally the RF transmitter is capable of transmitting RF signals with variable amplitudes or pulsed amplitudes. One or more of a variety of different shapes and sizes of transmission and reception heads may be provided.

[0053 ] The transmission head may be selected at block 1708. The selection of the transmission head may be based in part on the type of RF transmitter provided. Other factors, such as, for example, the depth, size and shape of the general target area, or specific target area to be treated, and the number of frequencies transmitted may also be used in determining the selection of the transmission head.

[0054] The RF receiver is provided at block 1710. The RF receiver may be tuned to the frequency(s) of the RF transmitter. At block 1712, the desired receiver head may be selected. Similarly to the selection of the transmission head, the receiver head may be selected to fit the desired characteristics of the particular application. For example, a receiver head that is larger than the transmission head can be selected to concentrate the RF signal on a specific area in the reaction chamber (although it was earlier believed that a smaller head would concentrate the RF to enhance RF heating, a larger reception head was found to generate a higher temperature). For example, a single 6" circular copper plate may be used on the Tx side and a single square 9.5" copper plate may be used on the Rx side. In this manner, selection of various sizes and shapes of the receiver heads allow for optimal concentration of the RF signal in the salt water mixture.

[0055] At block 1714 the transmission head is arranged. Arrangement of the transmission head is accomplished by, for example, placing the transmission head proximate to and on one side of the reaction chamber. At block 1716 the receiver head is arranged. Arrangement of the receiver head is similarly accomplished by, for example, placing the receiver head proximate to and on the other side of the reaction chamber so that an RF signal transmitted via the transmission head to the receiver head will pass through the reaction chamber and be absorbed by the salt water or the salt water component of the solution containing salt water. The transmission head and reception heads are insulated from direct contact with the reaction chamber. The heads may be insulated from the reaction chamber by means of an air gap. Optionally, the heads may be insulated from the target area by means of another insulating material.

[0056] The RF frequency(s) may be selected at block 1718. In addition to selecting the desired RF frequency(s) at block 1718, the transmission time or duration may also be selected. The duration time is set to, for example, a specified length of time, or set to raise the temperature of at least a portion of the salt water or the solution containing salt water to a desired temperature/temperature range, or set to a desired change in temperature. In addition, optionally, other modifications of the RF signal may be selected at this time, such as, for example, amplitude, pulsed amplitude, an on/off pulse rate of the RF signal, a variable RF signal where the frequency of the RF signal varies over a set time period or in relation to set temperatures, ranges or changes in temperatures.

[0057] At block 1720 the RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head to the receiver head. The RF signal passes through the reaction chamber and is absorbed by the salt water or the salt water component of the solution containing salt water that is contained within the reaction chamber. Absorption of the RF energy results in decomposition of the salt water or the salt water component of the solution containing salt water to generate hydrogen.

[0058] At block 1722 the hydrogen produced by decomposition of a salt water or solution containing salt water is collected. Hydrogen may be collected by any means. An example of a means for collecting hydrogen would be to utilize a vacuum or pump apparatus to remove the hydrogen gas as it is produced and to then retain the hydrogen in a location physically separated from the reaction chamber. For example, such a vacuum or pump apparatus could have one end attached to an outlet present on the reaction chamber and the other end attached to a gas storage container. It is contemplated that the gas storage container may be fitted with valves, as for example a one way valve, such that gas could enter or be pumped into the tank but then the gas could not leave the tank.

[0059] The methodology may end at block 1724 and may be ended after a predetermined time interval and/in response to a determination that a desired amount of hydrogen production has been achieved. The method may be performed once or repeatedly, or continuously, or periodically, or intermittently.

Figures 18 (a) and 18(b)


[0060] Figure 18(a) illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 1800 for producing hydrogen from salt water and subsequently for the combustion of the hydrogen produced. Figure 18(b) illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 1800 for (i) sufficiently heating a solution containing salt water that may optionally contain a secondary fuel in order to volatilize and combust the secondary fuel; or (ii) decomposing the salt water component of the solution containing salt water to generate hydrogen and to subsequently combust the hydrogen produced; or (iii) both.

[0061] The methodology for both Figures 18(a) and 18(b) begins at block 1802. At block 1804 either salt water or a solution containing salt water is provided. In Figure 18(a) the salt water comprises water and at least one salt, wherein an effective amount of salt is dissolved in the water. In certain embodiments salt is added to water or other liquids to enhance heating. In Figure 18(b) the salt water solution comprises the salt water of Figure 18(a) and optionally: (i) at least one additive, or (ii) at least one secondary fuel source, or (iii) mixtures thereof. The salt used in Figures 18(a)-(b)can be any type of useful salt which is water soluble. Several examples of useful salts are described in greater detail below. An effective amount of salt is the amount of salt necessary to allow surrounding water to absorb sufficient energy output from the RF signal such that it undergoes decomposition to generate hydrogen, or the amount of salt necessary to allow surrounding water to absorb sufficient energy output from the RF signal such that it undergoes sufficient heating to volatilize and combust any secondary fuel source optionally present. OCEANIC brand Natural Sea Salt Mix may be used to approximate the composition of naturally occurring seawater having an effective amount of salt and that may be used further as the salt water component of the salt water containing solution in the systems and methods discussed and shown herein. Such approximations of naturally occurring seawater may have a specific gravity of about 1.02 g/cm<3> to 1.03 g/cm<3>, e.g., between about 1.020-1.024 or about 28-32 PPT, as read off of a hydrometer. As an approximation of naturally occurring seawater, a mixture of water with the above-identified sea salt having a specific gravity of about 1.026 g/cm<3> (as measured with a refractometer) was used in exemplary systems and methods. In the alternative, it is believed that actual seawater may be used in the systems and methods discussed and shown herein.

[0062 ] It is contemplated that a reservoir of salt water or a solution containing salt water could be made beforehand and stored in a tank such that it would be available upon demand. For example, the storage tank could be connected to the reaction chamber by means of a feed tube. In this manner, a supply of the salt water or the salt water containing solution previously prepared could be pumped from the storage tank into the reaction chamber via the feed tube; wherein the feed tube has one end connected to the storage tank and the other end connected to an inlet present on the reaction chamber.

[0063] At block 1806 an RF transmitter is provided. The RF transmitter may be any type of RF transmitter generating a suitable RF signal. RF transmitter may be a variable frequency RF transmitter. Optionally, the RF transmitter may also be a multi-frequency transmitter capable of providing multiple-frequency RF signals. Still yet, optionally the RF transmitter may be capable of transmitting RF signals with variable amplitudes or pulsed amplitudes. A variety of different shapes and sizes of transmission and reception heads may be provided.

[0064] The transmission head may be selected at block 1808. The selection of the transmission head may be based in part on the type of RF transmitter provided. Other factors, such as, for example, the depth, size and shape of the general target area, or specific target area to be treated, and the number of frequencies transmitted may also be used in determining the selection of the transmission head.

[0065] The RF receiver is provided at block 1810. The RF receiver may be tuned to the frequency(s) of the RF transmitter. At block 1812, the desired receiver head may be selected. Similarly to the selection of the transmission head, the receiver head may be selected to fit the desired characteristics of the particular application. For example, a receiver head that is larger than the transmission head can be selected to concentrate the RF signal on a specific area in the reaction chamber (although it was earlier believed that a smaller head would concentrate the RF to enhance RF heating, a larger reception head was found to generate a higher temperature). Various sizes and shapes of the receiver heads allow for optimal concentration of the RF signal in the salt water and solutions containing salt water.

[0066] At block 1814 the transmission head is arranged. Arrangement of the transmission head is accomplished by, for example, placing the transmission head proximate to and on one side of the reaction chamber. At block 1816 the receiver head is arranged. Arrangement of the receiver head is similarly accomplished by, for example, placing the receiver head proximate to and on the other side of the reaction chamber so that an RF signal transmitted via the transmission head to the receiver head will pass through the reaction chamber and be absorbed by the salt water or the salt water component of a solution containing salt water. The transmission head and reception heads are insulated from direct contact with the reaction chamber. The heads may be insulated from the reaction chamber by means of an air gap. Optionally, the heads may be insulated from the target area by means of another insulating material. [0067 ] The RF frequency(s) may be selected at block 1818. In addition to selecting the desired RF frequency(s) at block 1818, the transmission time or duration may also be selected. The duration time is set to, for example, a specified length of time, or set to raise the temperature of at least a portion of the salt water or the solution containing salt water to a desired temperature/temperature range, or set to a desired change in temperature. In addition, optionally, other modifications of the RF signal may be selected at this time, such as, for example, amplitude, pulsed amplitude, an on/off pulse rate of the RF signal, a variable RF signal where the frequency of the RF signal varies over a set time period or in relation to set temperatures, ranges or changes in temperatures.

[0068] At block 1820 the RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head to the receiver head. The RF signal passes through the reaction chamber and is absorbed by the salt water or the salt water component of the solution containing salt water that is present within the reaction chamber. In Figure 18(a), absorption of the RF energy initially results in decomposition of the salt water to produce hydrogen, while still further absorption of the RF energy eventually leads to the combustion of the hydrogen produced by the decomposition of the salt water. In Figure 18(b), absorption of the RF energy initially results in (i) sufficiently heating the solution containing salt water in order to volatilize and to combust any secondary fuel that may be optionally present; or (ii) decomposition of the salt water component of the solution containing salt water to generate hydrogen; or (iii) both.

[0069] The methodology may end at block 1822 and may be ended after a predetermined time interval and/in response to a determination that a desired amount of hydrogen production and hydrogen combustion, or alternatively a desired amount of volatilization and combustion of the secondary fuel that may be optionally present is achieved. The method may be performed once or repeatedly, or continuously, or periodically, or intermittently.

Figures 19 (a) and 19(b)



[0070] Figure 19(a) illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 1900 for producing hydrogen from salt water, for the combustion of the hydrogen produced, and for the subsequent conversion of this chemical energy into mechanical energy that moves a piston. Figure 19(b) illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 1900 for (i) sufficiently heating a solution containing salt water that may optionally contain a secondary fuel in order to volatilize and combust the secondary fuel; or (ii) decomposing the salt water component of the solution containing salt water to generate hydrogen and to subsequently combust the volatilized secondary fuel source or the hydrogen produced; or (iii) both; and for the subsequent conversion of the chemical energy that combustion releases into mechanical energy that moves a piston.

[0071] The methodology for both Figures 19(a) and 19(b) begins at block 1902. At block 1904 either salt water or a solution containing salt water is provided. In Figure 19(a) the salt water comprises water and at least one salt wherein an effective amount of salt is dissolved in the water. In certain embodiments salt is added to water or other liquids to enhance heating. In Figure 19(b) the solution containing salt water comprises the salt water from Figure 19(a) and optionally (i) at least one additive, or (ii) at least one secondary fuel, or (iii) mixtures thereof. The salt can be any type of useful salt which is water soluble. Several examples of useful salts are described in greater detail below. An effective amount of salt is the amount of salt necessary to allow surrounding water to absorb sufficient energy output from the RF signal such that it undergoes decomposition to generate hydrogen, or the amount of salt necessary to allow surrounding water to absorb sufficient energy output from the RF signal such that it undergoes sufficient heating to volatilize and combust any secondary fuel source optionally present. OCEANIC brand Natural Sea Salt Mix may be used to approximate the composition of naturally occurring seawater having an effective amount of salt and that may be used further as the salt water component of the solutions containing salt water that are used in the systems and methods discussed and shown herein. Such approximations of naturally occurring seawater may have a specific gravity of about 1.02 g/cm<3> to 1.03 g/cm<3>, e.g., between about 1.020-1.024 or about 28-32 PPT, as read off of a hydrometer. As an approximation of naturally occurring seawater, a mixture of water with the above-identified sea salt having a specific gravity of about 1.026 g/cm<3> (as measured with a refractometer) was used in exemplary systems and methods. In the alternative, it is believed that actual seawater may be used in the systems and methods discussed and shown herein. [0072] It is contemplated that a reservoir of the salt water or a solution containing salt water could be made beforehand and stored in a tank such that it would be available upon demand. For example, the storage tank could be connected to the reaction chamber by means of a feed tube. In this manner, a supply of the salt water or the solution containing salt water previously prepared could be pumped from the storage tank into the reaction chamber via the feed tube; wherein the feed tube has one end connected to the storage tank and the other end connected to an inlet present on the reaction chamber. Alternatively, it is contemplated that a spray nozzle could be attached onto the end of the feed tube leading into the inlet present on the reaction chamber. In this arrangement it is believed that the salt water or the solution containing salt water could be introduced into the reaction chamber in the form of a mist or spray.

[0073 ] At block 1906 an RF transmitter is provided. The RF transmitter may be any type of RF transmitter generating a suitable RF signal. RF transmitter may be a variable frequency RF transmitter. Optionally, the RF transmitter may also be a multi-frequency transmitter capable of providing multiple-frequency RF signals. Still yet, optionally the RF transmitter may be capable of transmitting RF signals with variable amplitudes or pulsed amplitudes. A variety of different shapes and sizes of transmission and reception heads may be provided.

[0074] The transmission head may be selected at block 1908. The selection of the transmission head may be based in part on the type of RF transmitter provided. Other factors, such as, for example, the depth, size and shape of the general target area, or specific target area to be treated, and the number of frequencies transmitted may also be used in determining the selection of the transmission head.

[0075] The RF receiver is provided at block 1910. The RF receiver may be tuned to the frequency(s) of the RF transmitter. At block 1812, the desired receiver head may be selected. Similarly to the selection of the transmission head, the receiver head is may be selected to fit the desired characteristics of the particular application. For example, a receiver head that is larger than the transmission head can be selected to concentrate the RP signal on a specific area in the reaction chamber (although it was earlier believed that a smaller head would concentrate the RF to enhance RF heating, a larger reception head was found to generate a higher temperature). Various sizes and shapes of the receiver heads allow for optimal concentration of the RF signal in the salt water and solution containing salt water.

[0076] At block 1914 the transmission head is arranged. Arrangement of the transmission head is accomplished by, for example, placing the transmission head proximate to and on one side of the reaction chamber. At block 1916 the receiver head is arranged. Arrangement of the receiver head is similarly accomplished by, for example, placing the receiver head proximate to and on the other side of the reaction chamber so that an RF signal transmitted via the transmission head to the receiver head will pass through the reaction chamber and be absorbed by the salt water or the salt water component of a solution containing salt water. The transmission head and receiving heads are insulated from direct contact with the reaction chamber. The heads may be insulated from the reaction chamber by means of an air gap. Optionally, the heads are insulated from the target area by means of another insulating material.

[0077] The RF frequency(s) may be selected at block 1918. hi addition to selecting the desired RF frequency(s) at block 1918, the transmission time or duration may also be selected. The duration time is set to, for example, a specified length of time, or set to raise the temperature of at least a portion of the salt water or salt water solution to a desired temperature/temperature range, or set to a desired change in temperature. In addition, optionally, other modifications of the RF signal may be selected at this time, such as, for example, amplitude, pulsed amplitude, an on/off pulse rate of the RF signal, a variable RF signal where the frequency of the RF signal varies over a set time period or in relation to set temperatures, ranges or changes in temperatures.

[0078] At block 1920 the RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head to the receiver head. The RF signal passes through the reaction chamber and is absorbed by the salt water or the salt water component of the salt water containing solution present within the reaction chamber. In Figure 19(a), absorption of the RF energy initially results in decomposition of the salt water to produce hydrogen, while still further absorption of the RF energy eventually leads to the combustion of the hydrogen produced by the decomposition of the salt water. In Figure 19(b), absorption of the RF energy initially results in (i) sufficiently heating the solution containing salt water in order to volatilize and to combust any secondary fuel that may be optionally present; or (ii) decomposition of the salt water component of the aqueous solution to generate hydrogen; or (iii) both.

[0079] Alternatively, it is contemplated that an ignition source, for example a spark plug, could be attached to the reaction chamber. This ignition source would also be in circuit communication with a current source, such as for example a battery. The arrangement contemplated here would provide for a current going to the ignition source to be switched on and off when desired. This would result in generation of an ignition event, as for example with a spark plug a spark would be produced, on demand. It is believed that this ignition event would cause the combustion of the hydrogen that had been produced by the decomposition of the salt water, or would cause the combustion of either the hydrogen or any volatilized secondary fuel or both that is produced by RF treatement of a solution containing salt water in the reaction chamber.

[0080] At block 1922, the energy generated from the combustion of hydrogen, which is produced from the decomposition of the salt water (or more generally, the energy generated from either (i) combustion of the hydrogen produced from decomposition of the salt water, or (ii) the volatilization and combustion of any secondary fuel that may be optionally present in a solution containing salt water, or (iii) both), is transmitted to a piston in order to perform mechanical work. In any event, the combustion of either the hydrogen or any secondary fuel or both generates hot exhaust gases including steam. These hot exhaust gases expand and in doing so create an increase in pressure. It is contemplated that the head of a piston could be attached to the outlet present on the reaction chamber and the other end of piston attached to a lever arm. As expanding exhaust gases push against the piston head, the lever arm is moved transforming the chemical energy of expanding exhaust gases into mechanical energy and into the performance of mechanical work.

[0081] It is further contemplated that this piston arrangement could be utilized together with the spray nozzle and ignition source described above, to allow one to convert chemical energy into mechanical energy and subsequently into the performance of mechanical work, on demand. For example, this method could be used in such an arrangement in order to power an internal combustion engine. It is further contemplated that one example of how this method together with the appropriate system could be utilized, would be in providing an engine that would be fueled by salt water or various solutions containing salt water, or even directly by seawater taken from the ocean without further purification, rather than requiring gasoline or other water incompatible hydrocarbon fuels to operate. Specifically, it is contemplated that this engine could be provided in an appropriate size and in a manner such that it could be used to power an automobile or other form of motorized vehicle.

[0082] The methodology may end at block 1924 and may be ended after a predetermined time interval and/in response to a determination that a desired amount of hydrogen production and hydrogen combustion, or alternatively that a desired amount of volatilization and combustion of any secondary fuel source that is optionally present has been achieved. The method may be performed once or repeatedly, or continuously, or periodically, or intermittently.

Figure 20

[0083] Figure 20 illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 2000 for desalinating seawater.

[0084] The methodology begins at block 2002. At block 2004 seawater is provided. Any manner of seawater from any ocean or of any concentration or salinity would suffice. Furthermore, it is contemplated that the seawater could be taken from the source in its natural occurring form and used directly without the need for any further purification or processing. Examples of several sources for seawater are described below. It is also contemplated that an amount of seawater could be stored in a reservoir or storage tank such that it would be available to fill the reaction chamber upon demand. For example, the storage tank could be connected to the reaction chamber by means of a feed tube. In this manner, a supply of seawater could be pumped from the storage tank into the reaction chamber via the feed tube; wherein the feed tube has one end connected to the storage tank and the other end connected to an inlet present on the reaction chamber. [0085] At block 2006 an RF transmitter is provided. The RF transmitter may be any type of RF transmitter generating a suitable RF signal. RF transmitter may be a variable frequency RF transmitter. Optionally, the RF transmitter may also be a multi-frequency transmitter capable of providing multiple-frequency RF signals. Still yet, optionally the RF transmitter may be capable of transmitting RF signals with variable amplitudes or pulsed amplitudes. A variety of different shapes and sizes of transmission and reception heads are provided.

[0086] The transmission head may be selected at block 2008. The selection of the transmission head may be based in part on the type of RF transmitter provided. Other factors, such as, for example, the depth, size and shape of the general target area, or specific target area to be treated, and the number of frequencies transmitted may also be used in determining the selection of the transmission head.

[0087] The RF receiver is provided at block 2010. The RF receiver may be tuned to the frequency(s) of the RF transmitter. At block 2012, the desired receiver head may be selected. Similarly to the selection of the transmission head, the receiver head may be selected to fit the desired characteristics of the particular application. For example, a receiver head that is larger than the transmission head can be selected to concentrate the RF signal on a specific area in the reaction chamber (although it was earlier believed that a smaller head would concentrate the RF to enhance RF heating, a larger reception head was found to generate a higher temperature). Various sizes and shapes of the receiver heads allow for optimal concentration of the RF signal in the seawater.

[0088] At block 2014 the transmission head is arranged. Arrangement of the transmission head is accomplished by, for example, placing the transmission head proximate to and on one side of the reaction chamber. At block 2016 the receiver head is arranged. Arrangement of the receiver head is similarly accomplished by, for example, placing the receiver head proximate to and on the other side of the reaction chamber so that an RF signal transmitted via the transmission head to the receiver head will pass through the reaction chamber and be absorbed by the seawater. The transmission head and reception heads are insulated from direct contact with the reaction chamber. The heads may be insulated from the reaction chamber by means of an air gap. Optionally, the heads may be insulated from the target area by means of another insulating material.

[0089] The RF frequency(s) may be selected at block 2018. In addition to selecting the desired RF frequency(s) at block 2018, the transmission time or duration may also be selected. The duration time is set to, for example, a specified length of time, or set to raise the temperature of at least a portion of the seawater to boiling. In addition, optionally, other modifications of the RF signal are selected at this time, such as, for example, amplitude, pulsed amplitude, an on/off pulse rate of the RF signal, a variable RF signal where the frequency of the RF signal varies over a set time period or in relation to set temperatures, ranges or changes in temperatures or desired phase transitions.

[0090] At block 2020 the RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head to the receiver head. The RF signal passes through the reaction chamber and is absorbed by the seawater contained within the reaction chamber. Absorption of the RF energy results in heating of the seawater causing the seawater to undergo a phase change and produce steam. The steam produced would be free of any salt, minerals, or any other nonvolatile impurities initially present in the seawater.

[0091] At block 2022 the steam produced by heating the seawater to boiling is collected. At block 2024 the collected steam is condensed to form purified water. The steam may be collected by any means. An example of a means for collecting and condensing steam would be to utilize a the natural tendency of hot gases, such as steam, to rise. For example, it is contemplated that an exhaust pipe having one end attached to the outlet present in the reaction chamber and positioned to be directly above the reaction chamber could conduct the steam, as it is produced, away from the reaction chamber. It is further contemplated that the other end of the exhaust pipe could be attached to a remotely positioned tank and that this tank would functioned as a condenser such that, upon entering the tank, the steam would cool and convert phases from steam into water. As a result, it is believed that purified water would be condensed and collect in such a condenser tank. It is contemplated that, optionally, the condenser tank could be externally cooled in order to facilitate the rate of condensation of the steam. [0092] The methodology may end at block 2026 and may be ended after a predetermined time interval and/in response to a determination that a desired amount of steam production and desalination has been achieved. The method may be performed once or repeatedly, or continuously, or periodically, or intermittently.

Figure 21


[0093 ] Figure 21 illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 2100 of carrying out the electrolysis of water.

[0094] The methodology begins at block 2102. At block 2104 a salt water mixture is provided. The salt water mixture comprises water and at least one salt wherein an effective amount of salt is dissolved in the water. The salt should be water soluble and, in order to effectively form both hydrogen and oxygen gases, the salt should be selected such that the corresponding cation of the salt has a lower standard electrode potential than H<+> and the corresponding anion of the salt has a higher standard electrode potential than OH<">. A more detailed description of various salts and their effective amounts which are useful in this regard is given below.

[0095] At block 2106 an RF transmitter is provided. The RF transmitter may be any type of RF transmitter generating a suitable RF signal. RF transmitter may be a variable frequency RF transmitter. Optionally, the RF transmitter may also be a multi-frequency transmitter capable of providing multiple-frequency RF signals. Still yet, optionally the RF transmitter may be capable of transmitting RF signals with variable amplitudes or pulsed amplitudes. A variety of different shapes and sizes of transmission and reception heads may be provided.

[0096] The transmission head may be selected at block 2108. The selection of the transmission head may be based in part on the type of RF transmitter provided. Other factors, such as, for example, the depth, size and shape of the general target area, or specific target area to be treated, and the number of frequencies transmitted may also be used in determining the selection of the transmission head. [0097] The RF receiver is provided at block 2110. The RF receiver may be tuned to the frequency(s) of the RF transmitter. At block 21 12, the desired receiver head may be selected. Similarly to the selection of the transmission head, the receiver head may be selected to fit the desired characteristics of the particular application. For example, a receiver head that is larger than the transmission head can be selected to concentrate the RF signal on a specific area in the reaction chamber (although it was earlier believed that a smaller head would concentrate the RF to enhance RF heating, a larger reception head was found to generate a higher temperature). Various sizes and shapes of the receiver heads allow for optimal concentration of the RF signal in the salt water mixture.

[0098] At block 2114 the transmission head is arranged. Arrangement of the transmission head is accomplished by, for example, placing the transmission head proximate to and on one side of the reaction chamber. At block 2116 the receiver head is arranged. Arrangement of the receiver head is similarly accomplished by, for example, placing the receiver head proximate to and on the other side of the reaction chamber so that an RF signal transmitted via the transmission head to the receiver head will pass through the reaction chamber and be absorbed by the salt water mixture. The transmission head and reception heads are insulated from direct contact with the reaction chamber. The heads may be insulated from the reaction chamber by means of an air gap. Optionally, the heads are insulated from the target area by means of another insulating material.

[0099] The RF frequency(s) may be selected at block 2118. In addition to selecting the desired RF frequency(s) at block 2118, the transmission time or duration may also be selected. The duration time is set to, for example, a specified length of time, or set to raise the temperature of at least a portion of the salt water mixture to a desired temperature/temperature range, or set to a desired change in temperature. In addition, optionally, other modifications of the RF signal are selected at this time, such as, for example, amplitude, pulsed amplitude, an on/off pulse rate of the RF signal, a variable RF signal where the frequency of the RF signal varies over a set time period or in relation to set temperatures, ranges or changes in temperatures. [00100] At block 2120 the RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head to the receiver head. The RF signal passes through the reaction chamber and is absorbed by the salt water mixture contained within the reaction chamber. Absorption of the RF energy results in decomposition of the salt water mixture to produce hydrogen and oxygen.

[00101] At block 2122 both the hydrogen and oxygen produced by decomposition of the salt water mixture is collected. Means for collecting and separating the hydrogen and oxygen produced by the electrolysis of the salt water mixture will be known to those skilled in the art. Such techniques may include using two evacuated, gas collection bells that are nested within one another; where the opening to the innermost gas collection bell is covered with a semi-permeable membrane. The semi-permeable membrane may be made from a material that has a greater permeability to hydrogen gas than it does to oxygen gas. In this regard, as the mixture of hydrogen and oxygen gases are directed using a series of tubes and valves towards the two gas collection bells nested within one another, only hydrogen gas would be able to effectively pass through the membrane covering the innermost gas collection bell. As such, the hydrogen gas would become concentrated in the innermost gas collection bell, while the oxygen gas would become concentrated in the outermost gas collection bell. In this manner, it is believed that the hydrogen gas could be isolated and collected separately from the oxygen gas.

[00102 ] The methodology ends at block 2124 and may be ended after a predetermined time interval and/in response to a determination that a desired amount of hydrogen production has been achieved.



Figure 25



[00103] Figure 25 illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 2500 of carrying out the combustion of a liquid. The methodology begins at block 2510. At block 2510 an RF system is provided that is capable of generating an RF signal. The RF system may include an RF generator, transmitter and transmission head and be of the type described above such that it is capable of generating an ignitable gas from sea water in an open container proximate to the transmission head. At block 2520 a liquid is provided that includes an effective amount of at least one ion dissolved in the liquid for generation of an ignitable gas by the RF signal. At block 2530 the RF signal is transmitted such that it interacts with at least some of the liquid. At block 2540 the ignitable gas generated from the liquid by the RF signal is ignited. At block 2550 the methodology ends and may be ended after a predetermined time interval and/in response to a determination that a portion of the liquid has been combusted.

Figure 26



[00104] Figure 26 illustrates a high level exemplary methodology 2600 of carrying out the combustion of a liquid. The methodology begins at block 2610. At block 2610 an RF system is provided that is capable of generating an RF signal. The RF system may include an RF generator, transmitter, and transmission head and be of the type described above such that it is capable of generating an ignitable gas from sea water in an open container proximate to the transmission head. At block 2620 a liquid is provided that includes an effective amount of at least one ion dissolved in the liquid for generation of an ignitable gas by the RF signal. At block 2630 the RF signal is transmitted and at block 2640 a portion of the liquid is combusted.



[00105] Additional methods are contemplated using the systems described herein where a frequency for operation of the RF signal may be selected such that the frequency is the same as, or overlaps (either partially or completely) - or has harmonics that are the same as or overlaps - specific RF frequencies that are capable of stimulating or exciting any of the various energy levels of various ions, e.g., any of the various metal species that comprise the salts that are dissolved in the salt water solutions. One having ordinary skill in the art will understand how to determine and to measure RF frequencies that stimulate or excite various energy levels for various metal species. In this regard and based on empirical testing, we believe that 13.56 stimulates and/or excites Na ions better than any other ions herein so tested. As such, it is believed that useful embodiments of the methods described herein may therefore also include (i) selecting an RF signal having a preferred frequency, (ii) selecting a metal salt comprising a metal species capable of being stimulated or excited by the preferred frequency selected (or a harmonic thereof), (iii) transmitting the RF signal having the preferred frequency through or to an aqueous solution of the metal salt for a sufficient time in order to stimulate or excite the metal species present in the aqueous solution to generate heat. Alternatively, methods may also include (i) selecting a salt comprising a preferred metal species, (ii) selecting an RF signal having a frequency (or a harmonic thereof) capable of stimulating or exciting the preferred metal species, (iii) transmitting the RF signal having the frequency to or through an aqueous solution of the metal salt comprising the preferred metal species for a sufficient time to generate heat.

[00106] Additional methods are contemplated using the systems described herein where the RF signal may be used to process clays and soils to heat and sterilize the clays and soils, to directly generate hydrogen from the clays and soils, and for remediation of the clays or soils by removing or extracting organic contaminants and wastes. It is contemplated, as above, that a frequency for operation of the RF signal may be selected such that the frequency (or a harmonic thereof) is the same as or overlaps with (either partially or completely) specific RF frequencies capable of stimulating or exciting any of the various energy levels of any of the various metal species comprising metal salts or metal compounds that are dissolved or distributed within the soils. Since soils often contain moisture or the metal species present in the soils and clays have water molecules coordinated to them, it is therefore believed that the systems and methods described herein could be used to heat and process such metal-containing soils. As such, we believe the RF signal could be used (in any of the various manners herein described for treatment of salt water solutions) to produced heat and/or steam and/or hydrogen and oxygen free radicals in-situ within various soils, and in particular in clays and clay containing soils. The heat and/or the steam and/or the hydrogen and oxygen free radical produced from the water molecules present in the soil would treat the surrounding soil, in particular the heat and/or the free radicals generated would perhaps sterilize the soil, killing any animal, vegetable or microbial life that may also be present. It is further contemplated that steam produced in-situ in this manner may also be used to volatize and extract any hydrocarbon pollutants that may also be present in the soils and clays. As such, it is contemplated that soils of contaminated commercial residential and industrial sites, hazardous waste dump sites, gas stations, etc. could be remediated using the systems and methods described herein. One skilled in the art will understand how the RF systems and methods described herein could be coupled with known extraction and remediation processes and methods for in-situ treatment of contaminated soils. Exemplary hydrocarbon contaminants that could be extracted or removed would include but are not limited to organic solvents, oil and oil byproducts, insecticides, and polychlorinated biphenyls. Similarly, it is contemplated that clathrates, zeolites, and other materials containing or having various metal species adsorbed to their surfaces or in there structures and containing either moisture or water molecules coordinated to the metal species present may be processed and heated in similar manners as has been described herein for soils and clays.

[00107] In accordance with the systems and methods of the present invention previously described, further embodiments are contemplated of an RF system for selective disinfection of surfaces and materials is provided. The system includes an RF transmitter having an RF generator and a transmission head, and an RF receiver having a resonant circuit and a reception head. When the transmission and reception heads are arranged proximate to and on either side of a surface or material and an RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head, through the surface or material, to the reception head, at least a portion of the surface or material is disinfected without direct contact of the heads to the surface or material. It is contemplated, as above, that a frequency for operation of the RF signal may be selected such that the frequency (or harmonic thereof) is the same as or overlaps with (either partially or completely) specific RF frequencies that are capable of stimulating or exciting any of the various energy levels of any of the various metal species or metal salts or metal compounds that may, for example, be present within various targeted microbes, bacteria, or viruses. Since environments where microbes, bacteria, and viruses are found also often contain moisture, we therefore believe that the systems and methods described herein could be used to disinfect surfaces and materials through selectively heating and destroying various targeted microbes, bacteria, and viruses that are present on the surfaces or materials to be disinfected. The RF signal would be applied for a sufficient time to locally heat and destroy any targeted microbes, bacteria, and viruses that contain metals (metals that are either coordinated by water molecules or in an environment containing moisture) that are stimulated or excited by the RF signal having the particular frequency so selected.

[00108] In accordance with the systems and methods of the present invention previously described, further embodiments are contemplated of an RF system for affecting a change in the germination and growth of plant life is provided. The system includes an RF transmitter having an RF generator and a transmission head, and an RF receiver having a resonant circuit and a reception head. When the transmission and reception heads are arranged proximate to and on either side of a seed or a plant and an RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head, through the seed or plant, to the reception head, at least a portion of the seed or plant is processed without direct contact of the heads to the seed or plant. For example, a seed may be placed in a brackish environment or a plant may be watered with brine solution and natural biological processes such as osmotic pumping mechanisms may be taken advantage of in order to create a seed or plant having an internal environment with an increased salt concentration. We believe that any of the systems or methods described herein may be used to then expose the so prepared seed or plant to an RF signal, wherein the RF signal would affect a change in the rate of germination of the seed or affect a change in the rate of growth of the plant. We believed that that a frequency for operation of the RF signal may be selected such that the frequency (or harmonic thereof) is the same as or overlaps with (either partially or completely) specific RF frequencies that are capable of either increasing or decreasing the rates of seed germination and plant growth in order to affect such a change in the germination and growth of plant life.

[00109] In accordance with the systems and methods of the present invention previously described, further embodiments contemplating RF systems and methods for processing a fluid are provided. Processing a fluid includes but is not limited to heating and/or combusting the fluid. Fluids can be processed whether or not they contain any of the useful salts or ions (either cations or anions) herein described. An exemplary fluid in this regard includes but is not limited to water that is extracted from oil wells and that is contaminated with oil residues and/or other hydrocarbon contaminants. Methods for processing (including heating and/or combusting) a fluid involve using any of the systems previously described and (i) providing a fluid to be processed (including heating and/or combusting the fluid), (ii) adding an effective amount of salt to the fluid (e.g., by adding solid salt or by adding a salt solution), and (iii) passing RF through the fluid containing an effective amount of salt to process the fluid. In general, useful systems may include an RF transmitter having an RF generator and a transmission head, and an RF receiver having a resonant circuit and a reception head. When the transmission and reception heads are arranged proximate to and on either side of the fluid having an effective amount of salt added to it an RF signal is transmitted from the transmission head, through the fluid containing the salt, to the reception head, and at least a portion of the fluid is processed. Processing in this regard may include heating the fluid and/or combusting the fluid and in such situations salt is added to enhance heating of the fluid.

Salt Water, Salt Water Solutions, and Salt Water Mixtures

[00110] Ordinary and naturally occurring seawater may be used. Generally, a salt which is useful as the salt water or in the solution containing salt water or in the salt water mixtures employed in these systems and methods disclosed herein include any salt which has solubility in water. For example, NaCl is a useful salt because NaCl is very soluble in water. Other useful salts may include salts that have as their cation any element in cationic form, which may selected from the group consisting of Li<+>, Na<+>, K<+>, Rb<+>, Cs<+>, Be<2+>, Mg<2+>, Ca<2+>, Ba<2+>, Sr<2+>, Mn<2+>, Fe<2+>, Fe<3+>, Ni<2+>, Cu<2+>, Zn<2+>, Ag<+>, Au<+>, B<3+>, Al<3+>, Ga<3+>, In<3+> and that have as the anion any element in anionic form that is selected from the group consisting of Cl<">, Br<">, I<">, borate, citrate, nitrate, phosphate, sulfate, carbonate, and hydroxide. The salt used in the systems and methods disclosed herein can be used as either a pure salt, the salt made from one type of cation and one type of anion that are those cations and anions listed above; or it can be a salt mixture, made from more than one type salt, made from one or more types of cations and/or one or more types of anions that are those cations and anions listed above. Again, ordinary and naturally occurring seawater may be used.

[00111] Another useful salt water (or salt water component of either solutions containing salt water or salt water mixtures) for use in the systems and methods disclosed herein is seawater. This includes all types of seawater, including water taken from any of the oceans or other naturally salty bodies of water found on the earth. Using seawater as disclosed herein includes using seawater in its natural occurring form, that is, seawater which is taken from the ocean and used directly without any further processing or purification.

[00112] Another useful salt water or salt water solution for use in the systems and methods disclosed herein is brine water. Brine water may be water extracted from the ground (ground water) and includes water that is taken from water wells and oil wells. Using brine water as disclosed herein includes using brine water that has been further processed or treated (for example, by addition of salt, e.g., adding solid salt or a salt solution) or that is in its naturally occurring form and used directly without any further processing or purification.

[00113 ] OCEANIC brand Natural Sea Salt Mix may be used to approximate naturally occurring seawater having an effective amount of salt and used as the salt water or salt water component of solutions containing salt water and salt water mixtures employed in the systems and methods discussed and shown herein. Such approximations of naturally occurring seawater may have a specific gravity of about 1.02 g/cm<3> to 1.03 g/cm<3>, e.g., between about 1.020-1.024 or about 28-32 PPT, as read off of a hydrometer. A mixture of the above-identified sea salt mix having a specific gravity of about 1.026 g/cm<3> (as measured with a refractometer) was used in exemplary systems and methods. In the alternative, it is believed that actual seawater may be used in the systems and methods discussed and shown herein. The precise amount of salt in salt water or in the salt water component of the solutions containing salt water and salt water mixtures used and contemplated herein may vary from specific application to specific application.

[00114] In order to form both hydrogen and oxygen gas, salts capable of forming salt water mixtures that are useful for use in the electrolysis systems and electrolysis methods disclosed herein, should be water soluble salts and also should have a cation and an anion selected such that the cation has a lower standard electrode potential than H<+> and the anion has a greater standard electrode potential than OH<">. For example, the following cations have lower standard electrode potential than H<+> and are therefore suitable for use as electrolyte cations: Li<+>, Rb<+>, K<+>, Cs<+>, Ba<2+>, Sr<2+>, Ca<2+>, Na<+>, and Mg<2+>. For example, a useful anion would be SO4<2">, because it has a greater standard electrode potential than OH<"> and is very difficult to oxidize. It is contemplated that Na2SO4 would be a useful salt for use with the electrolysis systems and methods disclosed here within because it is a water soluble salt that is composed of a cation (Na<+>) that has a lower standard electrode potential than H<+> and an anion (SO4<2">) that has a greater standard electrode potential than OH<">.

Additive

[00115] As previously indicated, as used herein an additive may be an organic, organometallic, or inorganic chemical compound having solubility, miscibility, or compatibility with salt water and solutions containing salt water and salt water mixtures (including seawater or solutions containing salt water and optionally containing at least one secondary fuel) and that is capable of altering the response of the salt water, various solutions containing salt water, and salt water mixtures in response to stimulation by RF energy. Both molecular and polymeric species are contemplated as being useful additives. It is further believe that useful amounts of additive include solutions containing salt water where the additive is present as at least one minor component in the solution containing salt water. Embodiments contemplated in this regard would include solutions containing salt water and having from about 0.001 to about 10.0 weight % additive, and more preferably from about 0.001 to about 1.0 weight % additive, and even more preferably from about 0.001 to about 0.1 weight % additive.

[00116] It is contemplated that a salt water solution or salt water mixture containing an additive will respond differently to RF stimulation versus comparable salt water solution or salt water mixture that does not contain any additive. We believe that the response of a salt water solution or salt water mixture to RF energy may be altered in a variety of ways. For example, an alteration in RF response that an additive may have may include but is not limited to increasing or decreasing the rate at which a solution or mixture containing the additive either heats, combusts, or both upon exposure to a fixed amount or flux of RF energy; exhibiting a desired temperature change or level of combustion of a salt water solution containing an additive with exposure to a larger or a smaller amount of RF energy; and decreasing the surface tension of a salt water solution containing an additive such that combustion of the salt water solution or mixture occurs upon application of an RF field without any need for externally perturbing the surface of the salt water solution. Surfactants, including soaps and detergents, are embodiments of useful additives in this regard since they are known to lower the surface tension of aqueous solutions. Furthermore, we believe that water soluble organic compounds that can lower the heat capacity of an aqueous solution or that can change the freezing point of water or that can fo[pi]n azeotropic mixtures with water would also be useful additives in this regard.

Secondary Fuels [00117] As previously indicated, as used herein a secondary fuel may be any combustible organic compound that has solubility, miscibility, or compatibility with salt water or various solutions containing salt water or salt water mixtures (including seawater, salt water or solutions containing salt water that optionally contain at least one additive). It is believe that a useful amount of secondary fuel includes solutions containing salt water were the secondary fuel is present as the minor component. Alternatively, it is also believe that a useful amount of secondary fuel includes solutions containing salt or salt water were the secondary fuel is present as the major component. In this regard, embodiments are contemplated of salt water solutions containing from about 0.01 to about 99.99 weight % of at least one alternative fuel, and preferably from about 1.0 to about 99.0 weight % of at least one alternative fuel, and more preferably from about 10 to about 90 weight % of at least one alternative fuel, and even more preferably from about 30 to about 70 weight % of at least one alternative fuel, and even more preferably from about 40 to about 60 weight % of at least one alternative fuel.

[00118] It is contemplated that exposure to RF energy of a salt water solution containing at least one secondary fuel, wherein the secondary fuel is the minor constituent, may result in an enhancement or in a boost in performance in terms of the combustibility of the salt water solution versus the results obtained by a comparable salt water solution that does not contain any secondary fuel. Alternatively, it is also contemplated that exposure to RF energy of a salt water solution containing at least one secondary fuel, where the secondary fuel is the major constituent of the mix, allows RF energy to be used to combust the secondary fuel even though the secondary fuel itself may be RF inert. Without intending to be bound by theory, we believe that the secondary fuel may be useful as either the minor or the major component in a salt water solution because the salt water component of the salt water solution is stimulated by the RF signal and absorbs energy. As such, absorption of RF energy by the salt water component causes the temperature of the salt water solution to increase to the point where secondary fuel present in any amount volatilizes and becomes more capability of combusting in the presence of a spark, flame, or any other incendiary source. In this regard, methanol, ethanol, and iso-propanol are useful as secondary fuels because they are combustible organic solvents and are soluble with or have chemical compatibility with water. Furthermore, we believe that many additional organic solvents and compounds, which may have both volatility and solubility or miscibility with aqueous solutions, would also be useful as secondary fuels in this regard. For example, we contemplate that n-propanol, acetone, formaldehyde, acetic acid, and formic acid may also be useful secondary fuels.

RF Absorption Enhancers

[00119] Salt water, solutions containing salt water, and salt water mixtures may be processed using RF as-is. In the alternative, it is also believed that RF absorption enhancers may be added to the salt water, solutions containing salt water, and salt water mixtures prior to processing with RF to enhance the effects of the RF energy on the salt water, e.g., enhanced heating, enhanced, combustion, enhanced desalination, etc. The RF absorption enhancers may be particles made from RF absorbing materials that absorb one or more frequencies of an RF electromagnetic signal substantially more than other materials. This may pe[pi]nit the RF signal to heat salt water (or any solution containing salt water or salt water mixture) containing RF absorbing enhancers substantially more than it would salt water (or salt water solution or salt water mixture) that does not contain additional RF absorption enhancers.

[00120] Exemplary RF absorption enhancers include particles of electrically conductive material, such as silver, gold, copper, magnesium, iron, any of the other metals, and/or magnetic particles, or various combinations and permutations of gold, iron, any of the other metals, and/or magnetic particles. Examples of other RF absorption enhancers include: metal tubules (such as silver or gold nanotubes or silver or gold microtubes, which may be water-soluble), particles made of piezoelectric crystal (natural or synthetic), particles made of synthetic materials, particles made of biologic materials, robotic particles, particles made of man made applied materials, like organically modified silica (ORMOSIL) nanoparticles. Examples of yet other RF absorption enhancers that may be useful include RF absorbing carbon molecules and compounds: fullerenes (any of a class of closed hollow aromatic carbon compounds that are made up of twelve pentagonal and differing numbers of hexagonal faces), carbon nanotubes, other molecules or compounds having one or more graphene layers, and other RF-absorbing carbon molecules and compounds e.g., C60 (also known as a "buckyball" or a "buckminsterfullerene"), C70, C76, C84, buckytubes (single- walled carbon nanotubes, SWNTs), multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs), and other nano-sized or micro-sized carbon cage molecules and compounds. Such carbon-based particles may be in water-soluble form. Such carbon-based particles may have metal atoms (e.g., nickel atoms) integral therewith, which may affect their ability to absorb RF energy and heat in response thereto. Any of the foregoing (and subsequently listed) particles may be sized as so-called "nanoparticles" (microscopic particles whose size is measured in nanometers, e.g., 1-1000 nm) or sized as so-called "microparticles" (microscopic particles whose size is measured in micrometers, e.g., 1-1000 [mu]m).

[00121] Additionally, RF absorbing carbon molecules and compounds may be fabricated as RF absorption enhancers to be particles with non-linear I-V characteristics (rectifying characteristics) and/or capacitance. Such non-linear I-V characteristics may result from, for example, nanotubes with a portion doped (e.g., by modulation doping) with a material giving n-type semiconducting properties adjacent a portion doped with p-type semiconducting properties to form a nanotube having an integral rectifying p-n junction. In the alternative, nanotubes can be fabricated with an integral Schottky barrier. In either case, it may be helpful to use nanotubes having at least two conducting regions with a rectifying region therebetween. Accordingly, rectifying circuits for RF absorbing particles for RF absorption enhancers may be fabricated from RF absorbing carbon molecules and compounds having non-linear I-V characteristics.

[00122 ] Any of the RF absorption enhancers described herein may be used alone or in virtually any combination of and/or permutation of any of the particle or particles described herein. For example, it may be beneficial to use a plurality of different RF absorbing particles described herein for purposes of tuning the reaction kinetics of the various methods herein described. Accordingly, virtually any combination or permutation of RF absorption enhancers may be used in virtually any combination of and/or permutation of any RF absorbing particle or particles described herein to create RF absorption enhancers for use in accordance with the teachings herein. [00123 ] Of the RF absorption enhancers mentioned herein, some may be suitable for a 13.56 MHz RP signal, e.g., silver nanoparticles, gold nanoparticles, copper nanoparticles, magnesium nanoparticles, aqueous solutions of any of the metal sulfates mentioned herein, and RF absorbing carbon molecules and compounds. RF absorption enhancers using these RF absorbing particles are also expected to be effective at slightly higher frequencies, such as those having a frequency on the order of the second or third harmonics of 13.56 MHz.

RF Signal

[00124] The RF signals may have a frequency corresponding to a selected parameter of an RF enhancer, e.g., 13.56 MHz, 27.12 MHz, 915 MHz, 1.2 GHz. Several RF frequencies have been allocated for industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) equipment, e.g.: 6.78 MHz +-15.0 IcHz; 13.56 MHz +-7.0 kHz; 27.12 MHz +-163.0 kHz; 40.68 MHz +-20.0 kHz; 915 MHz +-13.0 MHz; 2450 MHz +-50.0 MHz. See Part 18 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations. These and other frequencies of the same orders of magnitude may be used in virtually any of the systems and methods discussed herein, depending on which RF absorbing particles are used. For example, RF signals having a fundamental frequency of about 700 MHz or less might be suitable for many of the systems and methods described herein. RF signals having a fundamental frequency in the high frequency (HF) range (3-30 MHz) of the RF range might be suitable for many of the systems and methods described herein. Similarly, RF signals having a fundamental frequency in the very high frequency (VHF) range (30-300 MHz) of the RF range might also be suitable for many of the systems and methods described herein. Of course, RF signals at any fundamental frequency may also have harmonic components that are multiples of the fundamental frequency of frequencies. Also, RF signals at any fundamental frequencies or periodic multiples of such fundamental frequencies that are harmonics of a fundamental frequency may be selected such that the frequency is the same as or has overlap with (either partially or completely) specific RF frequencies capable of stimulating or exciting any of the various electron energy levels of any of the various metal species that comprise the salts that are dissolved in the salt water solutions. For example, based on empirical testing we believe that an RF signal with a frequency of 13.56 MHz stimulates and/or excites Na ions better than any other ions herein so tested. [00125] Additionally, in any of the embodiments discussed herein, the RF signal used may be a pulsed, modulated FM RF signal, or a pulse fixed frequency signal. A pulsed signal may permit a relatively higher peak-power level (e.g., a single "burst" pulse at 1000 Watts or more, or a 1000 Watt signal having a duty cycle of about 10% to about 25%) and may create higher local temperatures at RF absorption enhancer particles. Such pulsed signals may have any of various characteristics. For example, the RF pulse may be a square wave, or may be a sine wave, or may have a sharp rise time with an extended ringing effect at base line, or may have a slow rise time and a fast decay, etc. Pulsed RF signals (and other shaped RF signals) may produce very localized temperatures that are higher for a length of time on the order of about a millisecond or longer. For example, a short 5 kilowatt RF pulse of less than a second, e.g., on the order of microseconds (e.g., 3-4 microseconds) may be sufficient to raise the temperature of the mixture sufficiently to achieve the desired effect, e.g., combustion of the salt water, desalination, heating, creation of hydrogen gas, etc.

[00126] As discussed herein, the RF energy directed toward the salt water (or any solution containing salt water, or salt water mixture) may be RF energy having a very high field strength and may also be coupled through the portion of the reaction chamber with coupling heads having a very high Q (e.g., a Q on the order of 250 or more). A pulsed RF signal with a relatively higher power may be effective to quickly heat the salt water, etc., such as a pulse of HF or VHF RF energy (e.g., 27.12 MHz).

Rate of Combustion

[00127] Salt water combusts relatively quickly in a test tube using a 600 Watt 13.56 MHz RF signal. For example, sea water- natural or artificial-combusts in a test tube on the order of about 1 ml per minute initially and later combusts on the order of about 1 ml per every 30 seconds as a substantial amount of water has been combusted from the test tube. In some cases, less salt permits better combustion than more salt. For example, a mixture of 99.5% ethanol and 0.5% salt solution combusts much better (faster) than a 50/50 mixture of ethanol and salt solution (see examples below). As another example, sea water from the Gulf of Mexico combusted at about 2-3 ml per 90 second period at about 1000 watts, using either a 10 ml or 100 ml test tube, with the upper surface of the sea water in the RF field. Comparative Examples

Series 1: Experiments with ocean water

[00128] It was previously demonstrated that salt water made from sea salt mix will combust using the RP system described in the '530 Application. It has been confirmed that ocean water will combust using the ENI RF generator using the coupling circuit of Figures 46-49 of U.S. Provisional Patent Application Serial No. 60/915,345, filed on May 1, 2007, and entitled FIELD GENERATOR FOR TARGETED CELL ABLATION (Attorney Docket 30274/04036) ("the '345 Application"), the entire disclosure of which is hereby incorporated by reference in its entirety, with a 6" silver coated circular copper Tx head (single plate) and a 9.5" silver coated square copper Rx head (single plate).

[00129] It is believed that the RF field that combusts salt water is substantially the same as the field discussed in the '345 Application (see Figures 53-end of that application). (It is also believed that Ocean water will combust with the other head configurations discussed in the '530 Application, as well.)

[00130] With respect to the combustion of ocean water, water from the Gulf of Mexico having the following characteristics was capable of being rapidly combusted with the above- described RF system (a 10 ml sample was analyzed prior to any combustion):



Sulfate 5/10/2007 2633 0 mq/! 1 O 300 0[00131] In this example, combusted ocean water differed from uncombusted ocean water in the concentration of most of these components increases, while the concentration of calcium decreases. Two 10 ml samples of the above water from the Gulf of Mexico were combusted down to 5 ml each and combined, and the resulting 10 ml of combusted ocean water was analyzed to reveal the following:

[00132 ] A white residue forms on the inside of the test tube after combustion of salt water. The calcium may be part of that residue.

[00133 ] Using the above-described RF system, salt water will combust, as will solutions of HCl and NaCl. Distilled water will boil in the RF field, but will not combust. Adding additional sea salt mix (e.g., OCEANIC brand Natural Sea Salt Mix) to ocean water causes the rate of combustion to increase. Adding sea salt mix sufficient to approximately triple the sodium of ocean water causes a dramatic increase in the rate of combustion of the resulting salt water mixture. Thus, the methods herein may be modified by including the additional step of adding additional ions to the sea water prior to combustion.

[00134] Salt water (ocean water and/or salt water made from OCEANIC brand Natural Sea Salt Mix) will begin to combust in the above-described RF system at RF wattages of about 250 Watts and salt water will continue to combust at lower wattages, e.g., about 200 Watts, after igniting. Salt water may begin to combust spontaneously at higher temperatures, or may require some sort of igniter (e.g., a drop of salt water dropped through the RF field, which combusts and ignites the other salt water in the field). Additionally, some sort of wick (e.g., a piece of paper towel) extending above the surface of the salt water in the field will greatly increase the tendency of salt water in the RF field to spontaneously ignite. Filling the test tube to the brim with salt water and then adding a couple more drops of salt water facilitates ignition.

[00135] Using a setup with about 5.5" spacing between Tx plate and Rx plate, and the test tube being about 2" from the Tx plate at about the top of the Tx plate, and applying RF to the salt water, the products produced from exposure of salt water to RF energy bum. The temperature of the burning products of salt water exposed to RF energy has been measured as high as about 1700<0>C using a FLIR Systems ThermaCAM P65 thermometer with ThermaCAM Quick View V2.0 Software, which measures temperatures up to 1700<0>C (it is believed that the salt water is combusting at a higher temperature). Surprisingly, the temperature of the salt water in the test tube remains relatively low (e.g., less than 45[deg.]C) while the salt water is combusting.

[00136] Without intending to be bound by this description, it is believed that the special RF field generated by the above-described RF system causes hydrogen in salt water to separate from oxygen, and then the hydrogen is burned in the presence of the released oxygen and the oxygen in the surrounding air.

[00137] Heat from RF-induced combustion of salt water may be used in any of the traditional methods of gathering and using heat, e.g., a heat exchanger, a Stirling Engine, a turbine system, etc.

[00138] Additionally, multiple Tx and Rx heads may be used at one or more frequencies.

Series 2: Experiments with salt water and solutions with additives and secondary fuels

[00139] For all the Series 2 examples described below, a circuit implementation of Figure 16 was used to transmit the RF signal through the exemplary solutions to yield the various results. Unless otherwise indicated, for all examples a 13.56 MHz RF signal from an ENI OEM-12B RF generator having a variable power output of up to about 1000 Watts was applied for thirty seconds to the reaction chamber, which in these instances consisted of a glass test tube (in which the various exemplary solutions were placed) connected to a support arm that was positioned such that the test tube was suspended between the transmission head (one plate) and the reception head (three plates). Unless otherwise indicated, the salt water solutions used in carrying out the various examples included Gulf of Mexico salt water, Brine salt water extracted from an oil well (located in Erie, PA) , and a 3.5 wt % stock solution of OCEANIC brand Natural Sea Salt Mix having a specific gravity of about 1.026 g/cm<3>. For all examples containing ethanol, denatured, Apple Products(c) brand ethanol was used.

Salt Water

[00140] A first 100 ml, sample containing salt water was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). The temperature of the salt water was measured using a fiber optic thermometer. A 13.56 MHz RF signal at about 300 Watts was then applied for about 30 seconds, after which the temperature was again measured using a fiber optic thermometer. Starting temperature = 24.0 <'> C; Ending temperature = 25.9 <[deg.]> C.

[00141] A second 100 mL sample of salt water was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). The temperature of the salt water was measured using a fiber optic thermometer. A 13.56 MHz RF signal at about 600 Watts was then applied and, as soon as the RF signal was applied, combustion of the salt water was initiated by momentarily placing an ordinary steel screwdriver in contact with the lip of the test tube. The screw driver was removed and the RF signal was left on for about 30 seconds as combustion of the salt water continued. After about 30 seconds, the RF signal was turned off and the combustion of the salt water ceased. The temperature of the salt water sample was then measured using a fiber optic thermometer at both the top part of the test tube and the bottom part of the test tube. Starting temperature = 20.5 ' C; Ending temperature (Top) = 66.0 <">C; Ending temperature (Bottom) = 28.0 <[deg.]> C.

[00142] A third 100 mL sample of salt water was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). However, the salt water used here contained 1 mL of stock salt water diluted to 100 mL with distilled water to give a 0.0035% salt water solution. A 13.56 MHz RF signal at about 600 Watts was then applied for about 30 seconds, after which the temperature was again measured using a fiber optic thermometer. Unlike the second sample of salt water, combustion of this third sample of salt water could not be initiated by placing an ordinary steel screwdriver in contact with the lip of the test tube. Starting temperature = 26.6 <'> C; Ending temperature = 75.5 ' C.

Salt Water + Carbonate and/or CO2 (as the "Additive ")

[00143 ] Carbon dioxide may be useful as an additive, as may other additives that produce carbon dioxide. Photographs 9-11 of the incorporated material show the combustion of ground water- here a sample of brine water collected from an oil well (located in Erie, PA), while photograph 12 of the incorporated material shows the combustion of a sample of brine water obtained from the Gulf of Mexico. We have observed that the brine water obtained from the Gulf of Mexico combusts in a less sporadic manner than brine water collected from the oil well located in Erie, PA. Without intending to be bound by theory, we believe high levels of carbonate salts present in the brine water collected from the oil well located in Erie, PA, that is not present in the brine water collected from the Gulf of Mexico, effects the combustibility of the brine water collected from the oil well located in Erie, PA. We further believe that, as the brine water collected from the oil well located in Erie, PA combusts carbonate salts that are present release carbon dioxide into the sample which acts to suppress or limit further combustion of the brine water as the RF signal is applied. Therefore, additional embodiments are contemplate wherein additives capable of inhibiting combustion or that are combustion suppressants may be added to any of the various salt water solutions herein disclosed in order to control or hinder the rate of salt water combustion or limit the amount of overall combustion.

Salt Water + Surfactant (as the "Additive ")

[00144] A 100 niL sample of salt water that also contained 1 metric drop (about 0.05 mL) of an ordinary hand soap (Liquid Nature Antibacterial Hand Soap) was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). A 13.56 MHz RF signal at about 600 Watts was then applied to the sample and as soon as the RF signal was applied, combustion of the salt water sample was initiated immediately. No external perturbation of the test tube (by a screwdriver, a drop of salt water, use of a wick or otherwise) was required. The RF signal was repeatedly switched on and off; each time the RF signal was switched on the salt water sample immediately began combusting, while each time the RF signal was switched off the salt water sample immediately ceased combusting.

Salt Water + Ethanol (as the "Secondary Fuel")

[00145] A first 100 niL sample containing a mixture of 50 mL of ethanol and 50 mL of salt water was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). A 13.56 MHz RF signal at several hundred Watts was then applied to the sample and, as soon as the RF signal was applied, combustion of the sample was initiated by momentarily placing an ordinary steel screwdriver in contact with the lip of the test tube. Once the RF signal was turned off the combustion of the sample ceased. Surprisingly, in the absence of any applied RF signal combustion of the sample could not be initiated even when an open flame was used to attempt initiation of combustion.

[00146] A second 100 mL sample containing a mixture of 99.5 mL of ethanol and 0.5 mL of salt water was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). The temperature of the salt water was measured using a fiber optic thermometer. A 13.56 MHz RF signal at several hundred Watts was then applied for about 15 seconds, after which the temperature was again measured using a fiber optic thermometer. Starting temperature = 26.6 ' C; Ending temperature = 62.0 ' C. This example shows that an effective amount of salt (e.g., solid salt or a salt solution) can be added to enhance heating of liquids.

[00147] A third 100 mL sample containing a mixture of 99.5 mL of ethanol and 0.5 mL of salt water was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). The temperature of the salt water was measured using a fiber optic thermometer. A 13.56 MHz RF signal at several hundred Watts was then applied and, as soon as the RF signal was applied, combustion of the sample was initiated by momentarily placing an ordinary steel screwdriver in contact with the lip of the test tube. Combustion of the sample was highly energetic and resulted in a very large flame as compared to RF combustion of a stock solution of salt water that did not contain any ethanol. The screw driver was removed and the RF signal was left on for 15 seconds as energetic combustion of the sample continued. Combustion was so energetic that some of the sample solution bubbled out of the test tube and onto the laboratory floor when it continued to combust. After about 15 seconds, the RF signal was turned off. However, combustion of the sample did not cease and the sample had to be extinguished using a fire extinguisher.

CONTROL 1: Distilled Water

[00148] A 100 mL sample containing distilled water was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). The temperature of the distilled water was measured using a fiber optic thermometer. A 13.56 MHz RF signal at about 300 Watts was then applied for about 30 seconds, after which the temperature was again measured using a fiber optic thermometer. Starting temperature = 24.0 <[deg.]> C; Ending temperature = 24.8 <[deg.]> C.

CONTROL 2: Tap Water

[00149] A 100 mL sample containing ordinary tap water was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). The temperature of the ordinary tap water was measured using a fiber optic thermometer. A 13.56 MHz RF signal at about 300 Watts was then applied for about 30 seconds, after which the temperature was again measured using a fiber optic thermometer. Starting temperature = 23.7 <'> C; Ending temperature = 47.8 ' C.

CONTROL 3: 100% Ethanol

[00150] A 100 mL sample containing ethanol was placed in a test tube and the test tube was then attached to a support arm and positioned between the transmission head and receiver head of the RF apparatus (described above). The temperature of the ethanol was measured using a fiber optic thermometer. A 13.56 MHz RF signal at several hundred Watts was then applied for about 15 seconds, after which the temperature was again measured using a fiber optic thermometer. Starting temperature = 25.0 <'> C; Ending temperature = 30.0 ' C.

[00151] While the present invention has been illustrated by the description of embodiments thereof, and while the embodiments have been described in some detail, it is not the intention of the applicant to restrict or in any way limit the scope of the appended claims to such detail. Additional advantages and modifications will readily appear to those skilled in the art. For example, in all of the various systems and methods presented herein, the RF electromagnetic signal may be applied until no liquid remains, or until substantially no liquid remains, or for a shorter period of time. Additionally, the steps of methods herein may generally be performed in any order, unless the context dictates that specific steps be performed in a specific order. Therefore, the invention in its broader aspects is not limited to the specific details, representative apparatus and methods, and illustrative examples shown and described. Accordingly, departures may be made from such details without departing from the spirit or scope of the applicant's general inventive concept.

TABLE I - EXEMPLARY COMPONENT SPECIFICATIONS




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