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Proc Inst Mech Eng H. 2002;216(3):171-83.

Prediction of skin burn injury. Part 2: Parametric and sensitivity analysis.

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  • 1School of Mechanical and Production Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.


Part 2 of this paper presents an analysis of variance (ANOVA) for investigating the precedence of the various parameters, and the effects of varying these parameters, in assessment of burn injury resulting from the exposure of skin surface to heat sources. A one-dimensional model based on the finite difference method (FDM), as implemented in a spreadsheet software application, is applied to the assessment of burn injury. Henriques' theory of skin burns is used for determining the spatial and temporal extent of tissue damage. The ranks of the effects of various factors were obtained. It was found that the highest ranked factor is the initial tissue temperature followed by the thermal conductivity of the epidermal layer. The effect of blood perfusion rate is ranked much below the combinations of other factors. The results from the present numerical experiment agree well with the results obtained by Palla. Sensitivity analysis of the critical exposure levels was also carried out and results are discussed. In this study, the effects of the various parameters on injury threshold were investigated. Again, the results indicate that the four parameters: thermal conductivity of the epidermis and dermis, convective heat transfer coefficient and initial tissue temperature, have a pronounced influence on assessing the burn injury threshold. It was also found that fat thermal conductivity and blood perfusion rate have no obvious effect on injury threshold. A two-dimensional analysis was further conducted to determine the sensitivity of the predicted injury to the values of frequency factor, P, and apparent activation energy, deltaE, used in the models. Part 1 of this study details the development of the computer models based on the one- and two-dimensional bioheat equations.

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