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. 2013 Feb;135(2):021006.
doi: 10.1115/1.4023383.

50 Years of Computer Simulation of the Human Thermoregulatory System

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50 Years of Computer Simulation of the Human Thermoregulatory System

Daniel W Hensley et al. J Biomech Eng. .

Abstract

This paper presents an updated and augmented version of the Wissler human thermoregulation model that has been developed continuously over the past 50 years. The existing Fortran code is translated into C with extensive embedded commentary. A graphical user interface (GUI) has been developed in Python to facilitate convenient user designation of input and output variables and formatting of data presentation. Use of the code with the GUI is described and demonstrated. New physiological elements were added to the model to represent the hands and feet, including the unique vascular structures adapted for heat transfer associated with glabrous skin. The heat transfer function and efficacy of glabrous skin is unique within the entire body based on the capacity for a very high rate of blood perfusion and the novel capability for dynamic regulation of blood flow. The model was applied to quantify the absolute and relative contributions of glabrous skin flow to thermoregulation for varying levels of blood perfusion. The model also was used to demonstrate how the unique features of glabrous skin blood flow may be recruited to implement thermal therapeutic procedures. We have developed proprietary methods to manipulate the control of glabrous skin blood flow in conjunction with therapeutic devices and simulated the effect of these methods with the model.

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