Performance evaluation of a conformal thermal monitoring sheet sensor array for measurement of surface temperature distributions during superficial hyperthermia treatments.
This paper presents a novel conformal thermal monitoring sheet (TMS) sensor array with differential thermal sensitivity for measuring temperature distributions over large surface areas. Performance of the sensor array is evaluated in terms of thermal accuracy, mechanical stability and conformity to contoured surfaces, probe self-heating under irradiation from microwave and ultrasound hyperthermia sources, and electromagnetic field perturbation.A prototype with 4 x 4 array of fiber-optic sensors embedded between two flexible and thermally conducting polyimide films was developed as an alternative to the standard 1-2 mm diameter plastic catheter-based probes used in clinical hyperthermia. Computed tomography images and bending tests were performed to evaluate the conformability and mechanical stability respectively. Irradiation and thermal barrier tests were conducted and thermal response of the prototype was compared with round cross-sectional clinical probes.Bending and conformity tests demonstrated higher flexibility, dimensional stability and close conformity to human torso. Minimal perturbation of microwave fields and low probe self-heating was observed when irradiated with 915 MHz microwave and 3.4 MHz ultrasound sources. The transient and steady state thermal responses of the TMS array were superior compared to the clinical probes.A conformal TMS sensor array with improved thermal sensitivity and dimensional stability was investigated for real-time skin temperature monitoring. This fixed-geometry, body-conforming array of thermal sensors allows fast and accurate characterization of two-dimensional temperature distributions over large surface areas. The prototype TMS demonstrates significant advantages over clinical probes for characterizing skin temperature distributions during hyperthermia treatments of superficial tissue disease.
Arunachalam, K; Maccarini, P; Juang, T; Gaeta, C; Stauffer, PR
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