Theory and Experiment for the Effect of Vascular Microstructure on Surface Tissue Heat Transfer—Part I: Anatomical Foundation and Model Conceptualization

[+] Author and Article Information
S. Weinbaum, L. M. Jiji

Department of Mechanical Engineering, The City College of The City University of New York, New York, N.Y. 10031

D. E. Lemons

Departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Pharmacology, College of Physicians and Surgeons Columbia University, New York, N.Y. 10027

J Biomech Eng 106(4), 321-330 (Nov 01, 1984) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138501 History: Received September 12, 1983; Revised April 23, 1984; Online June 15, 2009


A new theoretical model supported by ultrastructural studies and high-spatial resolution temperature measurements is presented for surface tissue heat transfer in a two-part study. In this first paper, vascular casts of the rabbit thigh prepared by the tissue clearance method were serially sectioned parallel to the skin surface to determine the detailed variation of the vascular geometry as a function of tissue depth. Simple quantitative models of the basic vascular structures observed were then analyzed in terms of their characteristic thermal relaxation lengths and a new three-layer conceptual model proposed for surface tissue heat transfer. Fine wire temperature measurements with an 80-μm average diameter thermocouple junction and spatial increments of 20 μm between measurement sites have shown for the first time the detailed temperature fluctuations in the microvasculature and have confirmed the fundamental assumptions of the proposed three-layer model for the deep tissue, skeletal muscle and cutaneous layers.

Copyright © 1984 by ASME
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