The development of electromagnetic (EM)-based therapeutic and diagnostic tools, as well as safety assessment of EM interactions with the human body, requires adequate measurement of the complex permittivity of different biological tissues. Such measurement techniques must be low-cost, readily available, and easy to implement. In this study, a simple circuit with basic radio frequency electronics was used to implement the open-ended coaxial probe method for permittivity measurement, as opposed to the widely used vector network analyzers. The non-ideal behavior of the circuit due to spurious reflections and ohmic losses was accounted for by a scattering matrix (SM) that relates the measured reflection coefficient to the true reflection coefficient at the probe tip. Parameters of SM were obtained using three calibration standards, and the circuit was used to measure the complex permittivity of a standard, tissue-equivalent, American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) polymer gel. A more intuitive approach to circuit analysis is also introduced. For both methods, the dielectric constant and electrical conductivity of the gel were found to agree with the recommended uncertainties of the ASTM standard and validate the utility of the circuit at the test frequency.
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