Our bodies depend on an exquisitely sensitive and refined temperature control system to maintain a state of health and homeostasis. The exceptionally broad range of physical activities that humans engage in and the diverse array of environmental conditions we face require remarkable strategies and mechanisms for regulating internal and external heat transfer processes. On the occasions for which the body suffers trauma, therapeutic temperature modulation is often the approach of choice for reversing injury and inflammation and launching a cascade of healing. The focus of human thermoregulation is maintenance of the body core temperature within a tight range of values, even as internal rates of energy generation may vary over an order of magnitude, environmental convection, and radiation heat loads may undergo large changes in the absence of any significant personal control, surface insulation may be added or removed, all occurring while the body's internal thermostat follows a diurnal circadian cycle that may be altered by illness and anesthetic agents. An advanced level of understanding of the complex physiological function and control of the human body may be combined with skill in heat transfer analysis and design to develop life-saving and injury-healing medical devices. This paper will describe some of the challenges and conquests the author has experienced related to the practice of heat transfer for maintenance of health and enhancement of healing processes.
Heat Transfer in Health and Healing1
Contributed by the Heat Transfer Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF HEAT TRANSFER. Manuscript received November 21, 2014; final manuscript received April 1, 2015; published online June 2, 2015. Assoc. Editor: Terry Simon.
Diller, K. R. (October 1, 2015). "Heat Transfer in Health and Healing." ASME. J. Heat Transfer. October 2015; 137(10): 103001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4030424
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