Modeling the thermal histories of collagenous tissues subjected to different heating modalities

Alptekin Aksan, David S. Nielubowicz, John J. McGrath

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Application of sub-ablative levels of heat to collagenous tissues causes helix-to-coil transformation in the collagen microstructure resulting in overall tissue shrinkage. This phenomenon has important therapeutic applications in medicine, such as thermokeratoplasty, treatment of shoulder, knee and ankle instabilities and treatment of chronic discogenic lumbar pain associated with hemiated discs. During the therapy, heat is applied arthroscopically by a laser or a radio-frequency probe (bipolar or monopolar). The amount and permanence of shrinkage established in the tissue is a function of the maximum temperature reached and the exposure time as well as the mechanical stress applied on the tissue during heating. Therefore, the thermal and mechanical history that the tissue experiences is a major factor determining its response and long-term mechanical stability. These are the defining factors for the success of the therapy. It is hypothesized in this study that there are significant differences between the thermal histories created in the tissue by different heating modalities owing to the differences between their modes of action. The solutions to the temperature distributions created by these different heating modalities -laser and radiofrequency applied with a bipolar and a monopolar probeare compared and parameters of clinical significance are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)115-124
Number of pages10
JournalAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers, Heat Transfer Division, (Publication) HTD
StatePublished - Jan 1 2001
Event2001 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition - New York, United States
Duration: Nov 11 2011Nov 16 2011


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