Application of the CO2 Laser to Thermal Properties Measurements in Biomaterials

[+] Author and Article Information
W. P. Hansen

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

R. J. Greenwald

Department of Physics, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

H. F. Bowman

Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 96(2), 138-142 (Apr 01, 1974) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3443196 History: Received July 26, 1973; Online August 17, 2010


The CO2 laser provides radiation that is strongly absorbed and only weakly back-scattered by high water-content materials, such as biological tissue. Several methods can be employed to obtain radial distributions of laser irradiance that are described by simple mathematical functions. It is therefore possible to use the CO2 laser to noninvasively establish an accurately known surface heat source. An effective thermal conductivity of the material can be determined from the temperature response due to laser heating. Thermal conductivity is reported for agar gel using CO2 laser heating and thermocouple temperature sensing.

Copyright © 1974 by ASME
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