An improved technique is presented for the “in-vivo” determination of thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and perfusion using a self-heated spherical thermistor probe. In the presence of flow, solution of the time-dependent, probe-tissue coupled thermal model allows the measurement of “effective” thermal conductivity and “effective” thermal diffusivity, which represent the thermal properties of the perfused tissue. Perfusion can be quantified from both “effective” thermal properties. In the presence of flow, it has been shown that the transient power response does not follow t−1/2 as has been previously assumed. An isolated rat liver preparation has been developed to validate the measurement technique. Radioactive microspheres are used to determine the true perfusion from the total collected hepatic vein flow. Experimental data demonstrates the ability to quantify perfusion in small volumes of tissue.

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