The Simultaneous Measurement of Thermal Conductivity, Thermal Diffusivity, and Perfusion in Small Volumes of Tissue

[+] Author and Article Information
J. W. Valvano

University of Texas, Austin, Tex. 78712

J. T. Allen

Biology Department, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 02139

H. F. Bowman

Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.; and Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, Cambridge, Mass. 02139

J Biomech Eng 106(3), 192-197 (Aug 01, 1984) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3138482 History: Received August 24, 1981; Revised December 19, 1983; Online June 15, 2009


An improved technique is presented for the “in-vivo” determination of thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and perfusion using a self-heated spherical thermistor probe. In the presence of flow, solution of the time-dependent, probe-tissue coupled thermal model allows the measurement of “effective” thermal conductivity and “effective” thermal diffusivity, which represent the thermal properties of the perfused tissue. Perfusion can be quantified from both “effective” thermal properties. In the presence of flow, it has been shown that the transient power response does not follow t −1/2 as has been previously assumed. An isolated rat liver preparation has been developed to validate the measurement technique. Radioactive microspheres are used to determine the true perfusion from the total collected hepatic vein flow. Experimental data demonstrates the ability to quantify perfusion in small volumes of tissue.

Copyright © 1984 by ASME
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