Development of Methodologies for the Noninvasive Estimation of Blood Perfusion
Robinson, Paul S.
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This work focuses on the development of a system to noninvasively estimate blood perfusion using thermal methods. This is accomplished by the combination of a bioprobe, biothermal model, and parameter estimation techniques. The probe consists of a heat flux sensor and surface thermocouple placed in contact with tissue while the opposite side is cooled by jets of room temperature air. The biothermal model predicts the temperature and heat flux within tissue and probe based upon the input of blood perfusion and the thermal contact resistance between probe and tissue. Parameter estimation techniques are developed that use the model to simultaneously estimate blood perfusion and contact resistance based on experimental heat flux and/or temperature. A gradient based system minimizes a sum of squares error function based on either or both heat flux and temperature. This system is tested on human forearms and in controlled flow rate experiments using tissue phantoms. Blood perfusion estimates from the controlled experiments are positively correlated with experimental flow rate. Experimental measurements and statistical analysis show distinct variations in the heat flux signal and rises in perfusion estimates with increasing flow rate. This research validates the use of thermal and parameter estimation methods to develop a practical, noninvasive probe to clinically measure blood perfusion.
- Masters Theses