Assessment of the Measurement Repeatability and Sensitivity of a Noninvasive Blood Perfusion Measuring Probe
Blood perfusion is the local, non-directional blood flow through tissue. It is measured as the volumetric flow rate of blood through a given volume of tissue. One method that has been developed for measuring blood perfusion is a probe that measures the temperature response of the tissue when a thermal event is applied. From the temperature response, the blood perfusion and contact resistance can be estimated by comparing the experimental response to a predicted response, and employing Gaussian minimization techniques to estimate the blood perfusion and contact resistance. The objective of this research was to assess the measurement repeatability and sensitivity of the blood perfusion probe by testing the probe on phantom tissue, such that the effects of physiologic or pathologic conditions on the blood perfusion could be eliminated. Another objective was to conduct a preliminary in vivo study using rats for the purpose of establishing proper experimental protocols for future testing of the blood perfusion probe. A phantom tissue test stand comprised of porous material and water to simulate tissue and blood, respectively, was constructed for the phantom study. Inlet flow rates into the porous media ranging between 0 cc/min and 30 cc/min were tested. To test the measurement repeatability 7 flow rates (0, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 cc/min) were tested on two different days. To test the measurement sensitivity of the probe, flow rates between 0 and 10 cc/min, and 15 and 20 cc/min were tested at intervals of 1 cc/min. From the phantom study it was concluded that the probe displayed good measurement repeatability, as the trend in perfusion as a function of inlet flow rates for both days was found to be the same. It was also found that the data collected using the probe yielded significantly different perfusion estimates for different flow rates, as statistical analyses show that the average perfusion differences between flow rates are truly independent within a 90% confidence interval, for flow differences above 4 cc/min. It was found that for flow rates below 4 cc/min the probe sensitivity was significantly reduced. For the in vivo study it was concluded that the probe can be used to obtain estimates of perfusion from rats. This preliminary study also served to establish proper experimental protocols for future tests.