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Technical Brief

Quantitative Evaluation of the Thermal Heterogeneity on the Surface of Cryotherapy Cooling Pads

[+] Author and Article Information
Sepideh Khoshnevis

Mem. ASME
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
107 West Dean Keeton Street,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712-1081
e-mail: sepideh@utexas.edu

Jennifer E. Nordhauser

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
107 West Dean Keeton Street,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712-1081
e-mail: jnordhauser@gmail.com

Natalie K. Craik

Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Baylor College of Medicine,
1 Baylor Plaza,
Houston, TX 77030
e-mail: gnat.craik@gmail.com

Kenneth R. Diller

Fellow ASME
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
107 West Dean Keeton Street,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78712-1081
e-mail: kdiller@mail.utexas.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received December 23, 2013; final manuscript received March 6, 2014; accepted manuscript posted March 24, 2014; published online May 20, 2014. Assoc. Editor: Ram Devireddy.

J Biomech Eng 136(7), 074503 (May 20, 2014) (7 pages) Paper No: BIO-13-1587; doi: 10.1115/1.4027270 History: Received December 23, 2013; Revised March 06, 2014; Accepted March 24, 2014

We have investigated thermal operating characteristics of 13 commercially available cryotherapy units (CTUs) and their associated cooling pads using IR imaging. Quantitative examination of the temperature profiles from pad IR images shows diverse, nonuniform temperature distribution patterns. The extent of heterogeneity of the temperature fields was quantified via standard image analysis methods, including thresholding, spatial gradient diagrams, and frequency histogram distributions. A primary conclusion of this study is that it is a misnomer to characterize the thermal performance of a CTU and cooling pad combination in terms of a single therapeutic temperature.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Optical (a) and (c) and IR (b) and (d) images of Bledsoe Universal (a) and (b) and EBIce model 10D butterfly pads (c) and (d). The symbols * and O in (a) demark alternate parallel water flow pathways.

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Fig. 2

IR image of EBIce model 10D butterfly pad (left) and its gradient magnitude map (right). The color bars show temperatures (°C) for the IR image and (°C/pixel) for the gradient map.

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Fig. 3

Histograms of pad temperature distributions with the outer 10%, 1/e2%, and 1/e% of values excluded as indicated by unfilled bars. Upper panels are for EBIce model 10D butterfly pad, and lower panels are for Bledsoe Cold Control universal pad.

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Fig. 4

Direct comparison of the relative spread of temperature distributions for the Bledsoe Cold Control knee pad and EBIce model 10D butterfly pad. The stars and squares mark the 10% breadth limits for the two pads.

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Fig. 5

Change in the temperature distribution on the EBIce butterfly pad at the beginning and end of the gated-on portion of an intermittent flow duty cycle with the controller adjusted to the coldest setting

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Fig. 6

Box plots of pad temperature distribution statics for the indicated CTU/pad combinations

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Fig. 7

The effect of adjusting the user-controlled temperature setting on measured pad temperature ranges. The plots show the low, median, and high values. Data are grouped by device type, with right and left plots for the designated coldest and warmest settings, respectively. Central plots denote intermediate control settings.

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