Title page for ETD etd-12202006-123743

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Ellis, Brent Earl
Author's Email Address brellis1@vt.edu
URN etd-12202006-123743
Title Assessment of the Repeatability and Sensitivity of the Thermoelectric Perfusion Probe
Degree Master of Science
Department Mechanical Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Diller, Thomas E. Committee Co-Chair
Scott, Elaine P. Committee Co-Chair
Lanz, Otto I. Committee Member
  • blood perfusion
  • thermal diffusion probe
  • tissue phantom
  • finite difference
Date of Defense 2006-12-06
Availability unrestricted

The Thermoelectric Perfusion Probe is a completely electronic system that cyclically heats and cools tissue to measure blood perfusion. The probe produces the thermal event with a thermoelectric cooler and then measures the resulting heat flux and temperatures: the arterial temperature and the sensor temperature (the temperature between the heat flux gage and the skin). The Thermoelectric Perfusion Probe was validated and calibrated on a phantom tissue test stand, a system that simulates perfusion with known, controlled flow. With the new pressed sensor technology, a thermocouple sealed to a heat flux gage, the sensor temperature and the heat flux are simultaneously recorded. The pressed sensor tests validated the program used to predict perfusion for the Thermoelectric Perfusion Probe. This perfusion estimation program can determine the tissues perfusion regardless of how the thermal event is created (i.e. convective cooling, convective heating, conductive heating).

Based on experimentation, the Thermoelectric Perfusion Probe displays good repeatability and sensitivity for continuously measuring perfusion. The sensitivity and repeatability of the Thermoelectric Perfusion Probe was proven when the perfusion estimates were compared to the perfusion estimates predicted by the Convective Perfusion Probe, a previously validated perfusion probe, and the CFD Flow Model, a computational model of the phantom tissue test stand.

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