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Development of A Luminal Esophageal Temperature Monitoring Device for Use During Treatment of Atrial Fibrillation


Luminal esophageal temperature monitoring is of high importance during catheter-based ablation procedures in the left atrium of the heart. An electrophysiologist’s ability to reliably monitor significant temperature increase created by local ablative heat transfer is crucial to preventing thermal injury of the esophagus. The work presented here describes the initial development of a device intended to accurately measure temperature of the inner esophageal wall during treatment for atrial fibrillation. An experimental setup has been developed using porcine esophageal and left atrial tissue and tests have been performed to better understand heat flow through the biomaterials in contact. To compliment ex vivo experiments, a numerical study using thermal finite element analysis has been implemented to investigate the temperature distribution across tissue layers as a function of tissue thickness, as well as heat source application time. Both the ex vivo study and finite element simulations aid in development of a practical prototype device for potential use during catheter ablation.

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