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A Computational Modeling Framework for Heat Transfer Processes in Laser-Induced Dermal Tissue Removal

T.I. Zohdi1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, 94720-1740, USA.

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2014, 98(3), 261-277.


A widespread use of lasers is for the ablation of biological tissue, in particular for dermal applications involving the removal of cancerous tissue, skin spots, aged skin and wrinkles. For a laser to ablate tissue, the power intensity must be sufficiently high to induce vaporization/burning of the target material. However, if performed improperly, the process can cause excessive microscale thermal injuries to surrounding healthy tissue. This motivates the present work, which attempts to develop and assemble simple models for the primary heat transfer mechanisms that occur during the process. First, in order to qualitatively understand the system, the terms that contribute to achieving a target temperature are studied, accounting for: (a) incoming laser irradiance, (b) heat conduction to the body, (c) infrared radiation to the surroundings and (d) convection from a vacuum (needed in certain surgical procedures to collect unwanted debris). Thereafter, a computational framework is then developed, accounting for the previously mentioned terms and further including: (a) phase transformations, including latent heats of transformation, and (b) mass transport (losses) due to burning and ablation of the target tissue. The framework is, by design, straightforward to computationally implement, in order to be easily utilized by researchers in the field.


Cite This Article

Zohdi, T. (2014). A Computational Modeling Framework for Heat Transfer Processes in Laser-Induced Dermal Tissue Removal. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 98(3), 261–277.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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