If you need to be kept warm in the heat of the Australian summer, you’ll want to know about a new heat treatment method being developed by medical researchers.
Researchers in the US and Europe have developed a new method of using heat from a small electric heater to deliver heat treatment to a small amount of skin.
The heat can be delivered through a small needle inserted under the skin, rather than directly to the skin.
Researchers believe the new heat method will reduce skin temperatures by as much as 20 degrees Celsius.
The method is a step closer to clinical trials for a procedure known as skin hydration, which involves using heat to cool the skin and help it recover from burns.
“Our study showed that a small heating device was able to deliver significant heat from the electric heater,” Dr. Raul Rauber, a researcher at the University of Texas at Austin, said.
“We hope to test the heating device on more patients in the future.”
The study was published in the journal Advanced Functional Materials.
“It’s a promising approach for managing skin temperatures in a non-thermal environment,” said Dr Raubers co-author and UT Austin Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Dr Paul Gage.
“This type of heat therapy is generally used in the management of burns in the field, but is rarely applied in the home.”
Dr Gage and his colleagues believe the study demonstrates the feasibility of a heat-based approach to treating burns.
The researchers are now working to develop the heat treatment system that will be available to the public.
“These types of treatments are really exciting because they are able to produce heat in a fraction of a second,” Dr Gage said.
The study also shows that the use of a small, portable heating device is a viable and practical alternative to using an electric heater.
“What this means is that the patient can get heat delivered through the skin with little or no need for additional equipment,” Dr Raul said.
Dr Rauberg said that heat is one of the most common ways of delivering heat to the human body.
“In fact, the average human body temperature is about 120 degrees Celsius and this heat is produced by the skin,” he said.”[This study] demonstrates the utility of this heat for treating burns and reducing the skin temperature to a manageable level.”
Dr Raul is also the director of the Institute for Heat and Microdevices in the Department of Materials and Bioengineering.