Microscale, bendable thermoreflectance sensor for local measurements of the thermal effusivity of biological fluids and tissues

Xu Xie, Zhu Diao, David G. Cahill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Measurements of the thermal transport properties of biological fluids and tissues are important for biomedical applications such as thermal diagnostics and thermal therapeutics. Here, we describe a microscale thermoreflectance sensor to measure the thermal effusivity of fluids and biological samples in a minimally invasive manner. The sensor is based on ultrafast optical pump-probe techniques and employs a metal-coated optical fiber as both a photonic waveguide and a local probe. Calibration of the sensor with five liquids shows that the percentage deviation between experimentally measured effusivity and literature values is on average <3%. We further demonstrate the capability of the sensor by measuring the thermal effusivity of vegetable oil, butter, pork liver, and quail egg white and yolk. We relate the thermal effusivity of the samples to their composition and water content, and establish our technique as a powerful and flexible method for studying the local thermal transport properties of biological materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number044903
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Volume91
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Instrumentation

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