Combined Solution of the Inverse Stefan Problem for Successive Freezing/Thawing in Nonideal Biological Tissues

[+] Author and Article Information
Y. Rabin, A. Shitzer

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Technion—Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel 32000

J Biomech Eng 119(2), 146-152 (May 01, 1997) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2796073 History: Received November 15, 1994; Revised June 30, 1996; Online October 30, 2007


A new combined solution of the one-dimensional inverse Stefan problem in biological tissues is presented. The tissue is assumed to be a nonideal material in which phase transition occurs over a temperature range. The solution includes the thermal effects of blood perfusion and metabolic heat generation. The analysis combines a heat balance integral solution in the frozen region and a numerical enthalpy-based solution approach in the unfrozen region. The subregion of phase transition is included in the unfrozen region. Thermal effects of blood perfusion and metabolic heat generation are assumed to be temperature dependent and present in the unfrozen region only. An arbitrary initial condition is assumed that renders the solution useful for cryosurgical applications employing repeated freezing/thawing cycles. Very good agreement is obtained between the combined and an exact solution of a similar problem with constant thermophysical properties and a uniform initial condition. The solution indicated that blood perfusion does not appreciably affect either the shape of the temperature forcing function on the cryoprobe or the location and depth of penetration of the freezing front in peripheral tissues. It does, however, have a major influence on the freezing/thawing cycle duration, which is most pronounced during the thawing stage. The cooling rate imposed at the freezing front also has a major inverse effect on the duration of the freezing/thawing.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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