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Research Papers: Bio-Heat and Mass Transfer

Developments in Blood Perfusion Measurements Using the Forced Convection Approach

[+] Author and Article Information
Christopher P. Nicholson

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Irelandchris.nicholson@gmail.com

Darina B. Murray

Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin 2, Irelanddmurray@tcd.ie

J. Heat Transfer 130(9), 091101 (Jul 14, 2008) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2944251 History: Received May 31, 2007; Revised December 21, 2007; Published July 14, 2008

This paper reports on an investigation into the relationship between blood perfusion in the tissues of the limbs and thermal measurements at the skin surface during cooling under an array of impinging air jets. The technique is known as the forced convection approach. The objective was to address a number of the simplifying assumptions made in previous studies in order to establish the feasibility of measuring perfusion using this technique. The study is concerned with investigating the thermal aspects rather than the physiological reasons for a given perfusion measurement. Advances from previous studies are made in the area of modeling where magnetic resonance imaging scans of the test subject’s leg are used to develop more physiologically realistic models. A new technique is then outlined to simultaneously assess skin and muscle perfusion from one noninvasive test at the skin surface. It is established that the sensitivity of the forced convection approach, when based on surface temperature measurements, is not high enough to allow an accurate determination of perfusion. Future work will use nonbiological mock-ups to investigate the capabilities of the method proposed for measuring skin and muscle perfusion simultaneously. If this testing is successful, a study will be conducted on the application of this approach to other thermal perfusion measurement techniques.

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Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Exploded view of compressed air probe

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Figure 2

Screenshot of meshed tracing of MRI image in COMSOL including various tissue regions and location of cooling region

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Figure 3

Conceptual PPV curve: showing the possible combinations of skin and muscle perfusion for a human limb at a given steady state temperature

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Figure 4

Illustrative comparison of experimental and numerical temperature profiles for a range of values from the PPV curve shown in Fig. 3

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Figure 5

Test conditions and measurement location for free convection part of the test

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Figure 6

PPV curve for test data generated from free convection part of the test

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Figure 7

Test conditions and measurement location for forced convection part of test

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Figure 8

Comparison between experimental and numerical results for forced convection part of test

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Figure 9

Results of optimization procedure for increasing the maximum temperature difference over the range of perfusion values from the PPV curve

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