Biothermal engineering applications impose thermal excursions on tissues with an ensuing biological outcome (i.e., life or death) that is tied to the molecular state of water and protein in the system. The accuracy of heat transfer models used to predict these important processes in turn depends on the kinetics and energy absorption of molecular transitions for both water and protein and the underlying temperature dependence of the tissue thermal properties. Unfortunately, a lack of tissue thermal property data in the literature results in an overreliance on property estimates. This work addresses these thermal property limitations in liver, a platform tissue upon which hyperthermic engineering applications are routinely performed and a test bed that will allow extension to further tissue property measurement in the future. Specifically, we report on the thermal properties of cadaveric human and porcine liver in the suprazero range between 25 °C to 80°C for thermal conductivity and 25 °C to 85°C for apparent specific heat. Denaturation and water vaporization are shown to reduce thermal conductivity and apparent specific heat within the samples by up to 20% during heating. These changes in thermal properties significantly altered thermal histories during heating compared to conditions when properties were assumed to remain constant. These differences are expected to alter the biological outcome from heating as well.
- Apparent specific heat
- Thermal conductivity