Numerical Model for Predicting and Managing Heat Dissipation from a Neural Probe
Trident Scholar Project rept. no. 411
NAVAL ACADEMY ANNAPOLIS MD
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Stimulating neural probes are used in an effort to better understand neural pathways. Current designs with light as a stimulating impulse externally couple the light into the probe. Relocating the light source to the probe tip would improve the flexibility of the technique however, this approach would generate heat within the embedded probe. Minor temperature excursions can easily damage tissues under study, creating inaccurate results andor damaging the tissue. A model has been created using COMSOL for the thermal effects of these heated probes in the brain. The model includes blood perfusion and metabolic processes. The model was used to investigate the effect of different geometric parameters on the temperature excursion as well as the effect of injecting saline solution through the probe to determine if active cooling is a feasible concept in the context of microneural probes. It was observed that the maximum temperature change decreases with insertion depth and decreases as the heated area of the probe is increased. The model was also used to study the effect of extending the probe beyond the heated region. This resulted in a significant reduction in temperature excursion. The model has been experimentally validated through physical tests using an Agar gel as a neural tissue simulant.
- Numerical Mathematics