Instrument to measure the heat convection coefficient on the endothelial surface of arteries and veins

  • J. Shah
  • I. dos Santos
  • D. Haemmerich
  • J. W. Valvano


The primary objective of the paper was to present the design and analysis of an instrument to measure the heat convection coefficient h on the endothelial surfaces of arteries and veins. An invasive thermistor probe was designed to be inserted through the vessel wall and positioned on the endothelial surface. Electrical power was supplied to the thermistor by a constant temperature anemometry circuit. Empirical calibrations were used to relate electrical measurements in the thermistor to the h at the endothelial surface. As the thermal processes are strongly dependent on baseline blood temperature, the instrument was calibrated at multiple temperatures to minimise this potentially significant source of error. Three different sizes of thermistor were evaluated to optimise accuracy and invasiveness, and the smallest thermistors provided the best results. The sensitivity to thermistor position was evaluated by testing the device at multiple locations, varying both depth of thermistor penetration and position along the vessel. Finally, the measurement accuracy of the instrument was determined for the range of h from 430 to 4200 W m−2K, and the average error of the reading was 4.9% for the smallest thermistor. Although the instrument was designed specifically for measurements in the portal vein to obtain useful data for current numerical modelling, the device can be used in any large vessel.


Tumour Cancer Ablation Radiofrequency Vessel cooling Convective cooling 


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Copyright information

© IFMBE 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Shah
    • 1
  • I. dos Santos
    • 2
  • D. Haemmerich
    • 3
  • J. W. Valvano
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Biomedical EngineeringUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA
  2. 2.Department of Electrical EngineeringUniversity of BrasiliaBrasiliaBrasil
  3. 3.Division of Pediatric CardiologyMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  4. 4.Department of Electrical & Computer EngineeringUniversity of Texas at AustinAustinUSA

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