Heat dissipation and its effects on tissue and blood interfaces are common problems associated with the development and increased use of artificial hearts, because all of the implantable actuators for artificial hearts generate waste heat due to inefficiencies of energy conversion. To determine the mechanisms of heat dissipation from artificial hearts, heated disks producing constant heat fluxes of 0.08 watts/cm2 were implanted adjacent to the left lung and the latissimus dorsi muscle in calves for 2 weeks, 4 weeks, and 7 weeks. At the end of each experiment, a series of acute studies was performed in which blood perfusion to the heated tissue was decreased or stopped to observe the contribution of blood perfusion to heat dissipation. The cooling effect of ventilation was also examined to determine its relative contribution to heat dissipation in lung tissue by decreasing the minute ventilation volume. The importance of blood perfusion for heat dissipation was demonstrated by the temperature rise after cessation of blood perfusion to the heated tissue. The contribution of ventilation to heat dissipation in the heated lung tissue was minimal. Contribution of total blood perfusion to heat dissipation was increased with time in the muscle tissue, which has relatively low resting blood perfusion, but not in the lung tissue, which has relatively high blood perfusion. In the heated muscle tissue, the in vivo adaptive response to chronic heat was functionally shown by the increased perfusion. In conclusion, blood perfusion was the main mechanism of heat dissipation from tissues that were adjacent to an implanted power source. ASAIO Journal 1997; 43:M585-M588.
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