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Thermal Modeling of the Human Eye as a Porous Structure

[+] Author Affiliations
Maryam Shafahi, Kambiz Vafai

University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA

Paper No. HT2009-88138, pp. 709-714; 6 pages
  • ASME 2009 Heat Transfer Summer Conference collocated with the InterPACK09 and 3rd Energy Sustainability Conferences
  • Volume 3: Combustion, Fire and Reacting Flow; Heat Transfer in Multiphase Systems; Heat Transfer in Transport Phenomena in Manufacturing and Materials Processing; Heat and Mass Transfer in Biotechnology; Low Temperature Heat Transfer; Environmental Heat Transfer; Heat Transfer Education; Visualization of Heat Transfer
  • San Francisco, California, USA, July 19–23, 2009
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4358-1 | eISBN: 978-0-7918-3851-8
  • Copyright © 2009 by ASME


Human eye is one of the most sensitive parts of the body when exposed to radiation effects. Since there is no barrier (such as skin) to protect the eye against the absorption of the external thermal waves, radiation can readily interact with cornea. On the other hand, lack of blood flow in the interior part of the eye makes it more vulnerable compared to other organs even in the case of weak heat interaction. Further, blood flow circulation alone cannot establish thermal equilibrium between the eye and body organs effectively. There are limitations in measuring human eye temperature profile experimentally due to the required invasive procedures in monitoring the inner layers. Therefore, there is a need to develop an accurate model to represent the eye structure and energy transport through it. Thermal modeling of the eye is important to investigate the effect of external heat sources as well as in predicting the abnormalities within the eye. Modeling of heat transport through the human eye has been the subject of interest for years, but the application of porous media models in this field is new and will be one of the themes of this study. In this work, iris/sclear is considered as a porous medium and energy transport is modeled using the tissue local thermal equilibrium equations. The eye is assumed to include six different parts: cornea, anterior chamber, posterior chamber, iris/sclera, lens and vitreous. A two-dimensional finite element simulation will be performed. Results are shown in terms of transient corneal surface temperature, isothermal lines in different regions and local temperature of pupillary axis. Effects of external radiation sources, convection coefficient of the surrounding air, blood temperature, blood convection coefficient and ambient temperature on different regions of the eye are also investigated.

Copyright © 2009 by ASME
Topics: Modeling , Human eye



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