Insulation disks on the skin to estimate muscle temperature

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Aug;97(6):761-5. doi: 10.1007/s00421-005-0113-5. Epub 2006 May 24.


This study examined the use of insulation disks placed on the skin to estimate muscle temperature in resting subjects exposed to a thermoneutral (28 degrees C) ambient environment. The working hypothesis was that the skin temperature under each insulation disk would increase to a value corresponding to a specific muscle temperature measured by a control probe at 0.8+/-0.2, 1.3+/-0.2, 1.8+/-0.2, 2.3+/-0.2, and 2.8+/-0.2 cm below the skin surface. Eight subjects sat for 120 min while lateral thigh skin temperatures and vastus lateralis muscle temperature were directly measured. Vastus lateralis temperature was estimated non-invasively using two 5 cm diameter foam neoprene disks which were placed on top of the skin temperature probes (from time 60 to 120 min) located at 15.3 and 26.3 cm superior to the patella. The disks at the two locations were 3.2 and 4.8 mm thick, respectively. The placement of the 3.2- and 4.8-mm disks on the thigh for a minimum of 15 and 20 min, respectively, resulted in an increase in skin temperature under the disks which corresponded to the lateral thigh muscle temperature measured directly and invasively at 0.8+/-0.2 and 1.3+/-0.2 cm, respectively, below the skin.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / instrumentation
  • Monitoring, Physiologic / methods*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Quadriceps Muscle / physiology
  • Skin Temperature / physiology
  • Temperature
  • Thermometers
  • Thigh