A Novel Cooling Device for Targeted Brain Temperature Control and Therapeutic Hypothermia: Feasibility Study in an Animal Model

E. Giuliani, S. Magnoni, M. Fei, A. Addis, R. Zanasi, N. Stocchetti, A. Barbieri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Therapeutic hypothermia (i.e., temperature management) is an effective option for improving survival and neurological outcome after cardiac arrest and is potentially useful for the care of the critically ill neurological patient. We analyzed the feasibility of a device to control the temperature of the brain by controlling the temperature of the blood flowing through the neck. Methods: A lumped parameter dynamic model, with one-dimensional heat transfer, was used to predict cooling effects and to test experimental hypotheses. The cooling system consisted of a flexible collar and was tested on 4 adult sheep, in which brain and body temperatures were invasively monitored for the duration of the experiment. Results: Model-based simulations predicted a lowering of the temperature of the brain and the body following the onset of cooling, with a rate of 0.4 °C/h for the brain and 0.2 °C/h for the body. The experimental findings showed comparable cooling rates in the two body compartments, with temperature reductions of 0.6 (0.2) °C/h for the brain and 0.6 (0.2) °C/h for the body. For a 70 kg adult human subject, we predict a temperature reduction of 0.64 °C/h for the brain and 0.43 °C/h for the body. Conclusions: This work demonstrates the feasibility of using a non-invasive method to induce brain hypothermia using a portable collar. This device demonstrated an optimal safety profile and represents a potentially useful method for the administration of mild hypothermia and temperature control (i.e., treatment of hyperpyrexia) in cardiac arrest and critically ill neurologic patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-472
Number of pages9
JournalNeurocritical Care
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016



  • Brain temperature
  • Cardiac arrest
  • Cooling collar
  • Hypothermia
  • Stroke
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this