Pulse-Decay Method for Measuring the Thermal Conductivity of Living Tissues

[+] Author and Article Information
M. M. Chen, V. Rupinskas

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill. 61801

K. R. Holmes

Department of Veterinary Biosciences, Center for Zoonoses Research, University of Illinois, Urbana, Ill. 61801

J Biomech Eng 103(4), 253-260 (Nov 01, 1981) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138289 History: Received June 02, 1980; Revised June 26, 1981; Online June 15, 2009


The present communication presents a single microprobe technique for measuring tissue thermal properties based on the dissipation of a measured amount of energy and the observation of the resulting temperature rise a given time later. An advantage of this method is that the effective sampling volume can be varied by varying the measurement time. Using a measurement time of a few seconds, the sampling volume was estimated to be several orders of magnitude greater than the probe volume. Hence artifacts due to probe-induced trauma or stress would be insignificant. Additional advantages of the technique are: the results were independent of the probe shape, size and properties, and hence represents absolute measurements without the need for calibration; the required electronics and computations are simple; the determination of thermal conductivity requires only a single measurement; and comparison of data at different measurement times yields a clear and unequivocal indication of nonconductive contributions of heat transfer, if present.

Copyright © 1981 by ASME
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