Journal of Visualization

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 265–272 | Cite as

Temperature distribution in deep tissue phantom during laser irradiation at 1,064 nm measured by thermocouples and thermal imaging technique

  • Jiyong Cho
  • Hyuk Byun
  • Seungdeok Lee
  • Jung Kyung KimEmail author
Regular Paper


Moxibustion generates heat stimulation which expands blood vessels and promotes blood circulation. Furthermore, moxibustion provokes the release of diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC) to treat and prevent diseases. However, inherent drawbacks, such as pain, burn scars, smoke and bad smells, limit its use. A novel noncontact-type laser therapy device having effect similar to that of commercial moxibustion is being developed using a 1,064-nm infrared (IR) diode-pumped solid state (DPSS) laser. The therapy device allows direct interaction of laser light with the skin rendering temperature distribution both on the skin surface and deep under the skin. We devised a sample holder containing a tissue phantom to measure the three-dimensional temperature distribution with thermocouples inserted deep inside the phantom. Agar gel of 2.5% concentration was used as the tissue phantom in our experiments. Our results revealed that the maximum temperature occurred far below the surface of the tissue phantom, which was heated by laser irradiation at 1,064 nm. This occurrence was also confirmed by a thermal imaging method. In contrast, temperature gradually decreased through the depth of the tissue phantom heated with commercial moxibustion. Simple analytical models were constructed to explain the underlying heat-transfer mechanisms involved in moxibustion and laser irradiation.

Graphical Abstract


Moxibustion Infrared laser Laser irradiation Tissue phantom Agar gel Sample holder Temperature distribution 



This study was supported by a grant of the Traditional Korean Medicine R&D Project, Ministry for Health & Welfare & Family Affairs, Republic of Korea (B090040), and also by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (2009-0075194).

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MPG 2972 kb)

Supplementary material 2 (MPG 3714 kb)


  1. Burke JF, Yannas IV, Quinby WC Jr, Bondoc CC, Jung WK (1981) Successful use of a physiologically acceptable artificial skin in the treatment of extensive burn injury. Ann Surg 194:413–428CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Carslaw HS, Jaeger JC (1959) Conduction of heat in solids, 2nd edn. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  3. Cha JY, Myoung HS, Cho SP, Lee KJ (2009) Development of deep-heating stimulation system for substituting the heat effect of moxibustion. J Inst Electron Eng Korea 46:50–57Google Scholar
  4. Cho J, Kim JK (2010) Thermal imaging technique for estimation of temperature distribution in deep tissue heated by infrared laser. Proceedings of the 14th International Symposium on Flow Visualization (Daegu, Korea) ISFV14-3A-5Google Scholar
  5. Gnyawali SC, Chen Y, Wu F, Bartels KE, Wicksted JP, Liu H, Sen CK, Chen WR (2008) Temperature measurement on tissue surface during laser irradiation. Med Biol Eng Comput 46:159–168CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Haemmerich D, Schutt DJ, dos Santos I, Webster JG, Mahvi DM (2005) Measurement of temperature-dependent specific heat of biological tissues. Physiol Meas 26:59–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Jeon BJ, Choi HG (2010) Heat-transfer analysis of indirect moxibustion using unsteady conjugate heat-transfer solutions. J Mech Sci Technol 24:2051–2057CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Jung B (2006) Portable pulsed photothermal radiometer for skin temperature rise measurement during laser therapy. Proceedings of the Optical Society of Korea Annual Meeting, pp 361–362Google Scholar
  9. Le Bars D, Dickenson AH, Besson JM (1979) Diffuse noxious inhibitory controls (DNIC). I. Effects on dorsal horn convergent neurones in the rat. Pain 6:283–304CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Liu VG, Cowan TM, Jeong SW, Jacques SL, Lemley EC, Chen WR (2002) Selective photothermal interaction using an 805-nm diode laser and indocyanine green in gel phantom and chicken breast tissue. Lasers Med Sci 17:272–279CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Peterson JR (1996) Acupucture in the 1990 s. A review for the primary care physician. Arch Fam Med 5:237–240CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Reid AD, Gertner MR, Sherar MD (2001) Temperature measurement artefacts of thermocouples and fluoroptic probes during laser irradiation at 810 nm. Phys Med Biol 46:N149–N157CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Yoon DE, Jo BK (2006) A study on the variations of the body trunk temperature by the drug-pad moxibustion method. J KIEE 55D:386–396Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Visualization Society of Japan 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jiyong Cho
    • 1
  • Hyuk Byun
    • 2
  • Seungdeok Lee
    • 2
  • Jung Kyung Kim
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering, Graduate SchoolKookmin UniversitySeoulKorea
  2. 2.Department of Oriental Medicine, Graduate SchoolDongguk UniversitySeoulKorea
  3. 3.School of Mechanical EngineeringKookmin UniversitySeoulKorea

Personalised recommendations