Thermal (Heat) Shock Biothermomechanical Viewpoint

[+] Author and Article Information
Wen-Hei Yang

Department of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2125

J Biomech Eng 115(4B), 617-621 (Nov 01, 1993) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2895549 History: Revised July 22, 1993; Online March 17, 2008


Thermal (or heat) shock phenomena have been observed in all organisms at the cellular level. They cause an acceleration in the rate of expression of specific genes (heat shock genes), resulting in an increase and accumulation of heat shock proteins in cells. The purpose of this study is to investigate the mechanisms of thermal shock from two different viewpoints: biothermal and biothermomechanical aspects. The former predicts more severe consequences on cells that the latter, whose thermal wave fronts are smoothed due to the coupling effects of thermoelasticity. In conclusion, it is the thermal wave propagation (the so-called “second sound” effect) which triggers a perturbation of normal gene expression. Thermotolerance is found to be inherited in the heat flux equation of the thermal wave model. The information obtained from this study can also be useful to therapeutical hyperthermia, preservation of organs and tissues, and laser and cryogenic surgery.

Copyright © 1993 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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