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Prof. Ovidio Bucci

Optimal Design of Array Antennas for Therapeutic Applications of Electromagnetic Fields

University of Naples, Italy



Ovidio Mario Bucci was born in Civitaquana, Italy, on November 18, 1943.

He graduated summa cum laude in Electronic Engineering at Universiy of Naples in 1966 and got the Libera Docenza in Theory and Technique of Electromagnetic Fields (allowing to become a tenured university professor) in 1971. He was an Assistant Professor at the Istituto Universitario Navale of Naples, 1967–1975, then Full Professor of Electromagnetic Fields at the University of Naples 1976-2014, where he is currently a professor emeritus. He was Head of the Department of Electronic Engineering, Vice Rector of the University of Naples, Director of the Institute of Electromagnetic Environmental Sensing (IREA) of the Italian National Research Council, Director of the Interuniversity Research Centre on Microwaves and Antennas (CIRMA). He also was President of the National Research Group of Electromagnetism, of the MTT-AP Chapter of the Centre-South Italy Section of IEEE, member of the Directive Board of the National Inter University Consortium on Telecommunications (CNIT), of the delegate Assembly of the European Association for Antennas and Propagation, of the Management Committees of the European COST Actions IC0603 (ASSIST), COST IC1102 (VISTA) and TD1301 (MiMed). He is member of the Board of the European School of Antennas, of the Technical Committee MTT-10 of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society and of the European Science Foundation College of Expert Reviewers.

He is the author or co-author of about 450 scientific papers, mainly published on international scientific journals or proceedings of international conferences. His scientific interests include scattering from loaded surfaces, antennas transient behaviour, time and frequency domain spectrometry, analysis and synthesis of reflector antennas, arrays and reflectarrays, efficient representations and information content of electromagnetic fields, near-field antennas measurement and diagnostic techniques, inverse problems and not invasive diagnostics, biological applications of nanocomponents and electromagnetic fields

Among others, He was a recipient of the International Award GUIDO DORSO for Scientific Research and of the gold medal for Science and Culture from the President of the Italian Republic.

He his Life Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), and Member of the Academia Pontaniana.


In medicine, non ionizing electromagnetic fields are exploited both in therapy, to induce some kind of biological effect in a region of interest, and in diagnostics, to obtain information of clinical interest from signals generated in response to an external electromagnetic excitation. This lecture deals with the therapeutic applications of microwaves, in particular with the design of the phased arrays exploited to generate the required fields.

The main aim is to enlighten the conceptual points lying behind the optimal design of such apparatuses, putting in evidence the peculiar challenges which must be faced. First, the region of interest is located in the near-field zone of the array, quite always inside it. Second, the region of interest and the array (whose geometry is dictated by the anatomy of the considered part of the body) are usually embedded in a matching medium, which is possibly lossy. Third, the region of interest is an electrically heterogeneous 3-D domain, characterized by high losses, whose features vary from patient to patient. These circumstances entails the need of a reformulation of the classical array synthesis problem, and put absolute limits to the achievable performances.

After presenting such reformulation, we review some recent results providing a procedure for addressing, in the case of microwave hyperthermia, the optimal design of the system layout, i.e., the choice of the number and locations of the array elements. We also report some examples to show how the procedure can be carried out in practice, putting in evidence the limits of the achievable performances and the problems which are still open.


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