Thermal Conductivity and Thermal Diffusivity of Biomaterials: A Simultaneous Measurement Technique

[+] Author and Article Information
T. A. Balasubramaniam

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

H. F. Bowman

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.; Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences, and Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

J Biomech Eng 99(3), 148-154 (Aug 01, 1977) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3426282 History: Received April 25, 1977; Online October 21, 2010


A technique is presented for the simultaneous determination of thermal conductivity and thermal diffusivity of biomaterials. Measurements are derived from the transient power supplied to a thermistor probe operated in a self-heated mode. The thermal properties are extracted through the use of an appropriate thermal model. Thermal conductivity is determined through a simple algebraic equation. Thermal diffusivity is determined from a convenient set of nondimensionalized curves. The technique can be used in vivo and in vitro. Measurements can be made in sample volumes of less than 1 cc in less than 30 s.

Copyright © 1977 by ASME
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