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Comparison between ambulatory measurement of effective thermal conductivity and laser Doppler flowmetry method to assess skin microcirculatory activity
D. Toumi, C. Gehin, A. Bigouret, A. Dittmar, E. Mcadams
Innovation and Research in BioMedical Engineering 35 158-163 2014 AbstractThe main objective of this paper was to assess the performance of the ambulatory device μHematron to measure indirectly skin blood flow relative to the well-established Laser Doppler flowmetry method. The μHematron device is dedicated to the non-invasive measurement of effective thermal conductivity of living tissues, based on the thermal clearance method. Its major advantage is its ambulatory functionality, as available methods for evaluation of microcirculatory activity are non-ambulatory methods. An experiment was conducted on ten healthy women exposed for one hour in three different thermal environments (22 °C, 25 °C and 30 °C). Skin microcirculatory activity was analyzed after an acclimatization period of 30 minutes. The time between each exposure was at least one hour. Performances of the μHematron device were assessed and a comparative study with a laser Doppler perfusion monitor (LDPM) was performed. Good correlation coefficients between the two devices (r = 0.71 at T1 = 22 °C, r = 0.77 at T2 = 25 °C and r = 0.83 at T3 = 30 °C) were obtained while the LDPM signal was filtered by a low pass filter (0.1 Hz). These results showed that continuous monitoring of effective thermal conductivity was possible in neutral and warm ambiences. Then, the μHematron device could be considered as a complementary tool to Doppler techniques for the investigation of skin blood flow, when ambulatory conditions are required.       

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