Research Papers

A Head and Neck Support Device for Inducing Local Hypothermia

[+] Author and Article Information
Adam Gladen, Arthur G. Erdman

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Paul A. Iaizzo

Department of Surgery,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Department of Integrative
Biology and Physiology,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455

John C. Bischof

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Afshin A. Divani

Department of Mechanical Engineering,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Department of Neurology,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Department of Neurosurgery,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
University of Minnesota,
Minneapolis, MN 55455
e-mail: divani@umn.edu

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received September 8, 2012; final manuscript received September 12, 2013; published online December 6, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Rosaire Mongrain.

J. Med. Devices 8(1), 011002 (Dec 06, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: MED-12-1112; doi: 10.1115/1.4025448 History: Received September 08, 2012; Revised September 12, 2013

The present work describes the design of a device/system intended to induce local mild hypothermia by simultaneously cooling a patient's head and neck. The therapeutic goal is to lower the head and neck temperatures to 33–35 °C, while leaving the core body temperature unchanged. The device works by circulating a cold fluid around the exterior of the head and neck. The head surface area is separated into five different cooling zones. Each zone has a cooling coil and can be independently controlled. The cooling coils are tightly wrapped concentric circles of tubing. This design allows for a dense packing of tubes in a limited space, while preventing crimping of the tubing and minimizing the fluid pressure head loss. The design in the neck region also has multiple tubes wrapping around the circumference of the patient's neck in a helix. Preliminary testing indicates that this approach is capable of achieving the design goal of cooling the brain tissue (at a depth of 2.5 cm from the scalp) to 35 °C within 30– 40 min, without any pharmacologic or circulatory manipulation. In a comparison with examples of current technology, the device has shown the potential for improved cooling capability.

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the simplified head model

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Fig. 2

Cooling helmet device. (a)–(c) Schematic presentations, and (d) and (e) actual device.

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Fig. 3

Cross-sectional schematic view of the phantom head consisting of the (1) support structure, (2) shell molded into a human head form, (3) incandescent light bulb for heat generation, and (4) support structure to the shell

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Fig. 4

Comparison of the heat transfer rates of the devices on the phantom head

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Fig. 5

Scalp temperature of a healthy subject as a function of time while being cooled by (1) our device as compared to (2) the average scalp temperature of six piglets cooled with a fluid circulating helmet [42], (3) the average scalp temperature of 16 patients with cardiac arrest cooled with the commercially available Frigicap® [36], (4) the average scalp temperature of 24 healthy subjects cooled by a commercially available device from Life Support Systems [40], and (5) the scalp temperature of a healthy subject cooled by a commercial device available from Paxman Coolers Ltd. [41]

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Fig. 6

Schematic of the 1-D analysis to determine the major resistance to heat flow

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Fig. 7

Comparison of the internal flow resistance to the wall resistance as a function of the tube diameter. The mass flow is constant at 0.013 kg/s.

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Fig. 8

Heat flow with respect to the Tygon tube diameter for a 1 m long tube with a constant outer wall temperature of 37 °C and a mass flow rate of 0.013 kg/s

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Fig. 9

Schematic of the hot tank experiment

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Fig. 10

Comparison of the predicted to measured heat transfer for the hot tank experiment



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