Annals of Biomedical Engineering

, Volume 39, Issue 6, pp 1745–1758 | Cite as

Measurement of the Thermal Conductivity of Carbon Nanotube–Tissue Phantom Composites with the Hot Wire Probe Method

  • Saugata Sarkar
  • Kristen Zimmermann
  • Weinan Leng
  • Peter Vikesland
  • Jianfei Zhang
  • Harry Dorn
  • Thomas Diller
  • Christopher Rylander
  • Marissa Nichole Rylander


Developing combinatorial treatments involving laser irradiation and nanoparticles require an understanding of the effect of nanoparticle inclusion on tissue thermal properties, such as thermal conductivity. This information will permit a more accurate prediction of temperature distribution and tumor response following therapy, as well as provide additional information to aid in the selection of the appropriate type and concentration of nanoparticles. This study measured the thermal conductivity of tissue representative phantoms containing varying types and concentrations of carbon nanotubes (CNTs). Multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWNTs, length of 900–1200 nm and diameter of 40–60 nm), single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs, length of 900–1200 nm and diameter <2 nm), and a novel embodiment of SWNTs referred to as single-walled carbon nanohorns (SWNHs, length of 25–50 nm and diameter of 3–5 nm) of varying concentrations (0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/mL) were uniformly dispersed in sodium alginate tissue representative phantoms. The thermal conductivity of phantoms containing CNTs was measured using a hot wire probe method. Increasing CNT concentration from 0 to 1.0 mg/mL caused the thermal conductivity of phantoms containing SWNTs, SWNHs, and MWNTs to increase by 24, 30, and 66%, respectively. For identical CNT concentrations, phantoms containing MWNTs possessed the highest thermal conductivity.


Thermal properties Sodium alginate Carbon nanoparticle Thermal conductance Hyperthermia Laser therapy 


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Copyright information

© Biomedical Engineering Society 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saugata Sarkar
    • 1
  • Kristen Zimmermann
    • 2
  • Weinan Leng
    • 3
  • Peter Vikesland
    • 3
  • Jianfei Zhang
    • 4
  • Harry Dorn
    • 4
  • Thomas Diller
    • 1
  • Christopher Rylander
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marissa Nichole Rylander
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical EngineeringVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  2. 2.School of Biomedical Engineering and SciencesVirginia Tech-Wake Forrest UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA
  4. 4.Department of ChemistryVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State UniversityBlacksburgUSA

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