Numerical models, in vitro simulation and first prototype verification of a controlled cerebral cooling neck collar

Ivan Corazza, Francesca Caporusso, Enrico Giuliani, Pier Luca Rossi, David Bianchini, Romano Zannoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hypothermia is an important neuro-protective strategy for patients with acute brain damage following traumatic brain injury, stroke or sudden cardiac death. Nowadays, cooling therapy is performed inside the intensive care units with noninvasive systems applied to the body and head surface or invasively through cooling catheters inserted in the femoral vein. Full body cooling presents criticism still unresolved and a therapy localized in the brain is more effective. External systems (i.e., cool helmets) have a very low efficiency due to the need to overstep the cranial cap. For this reason we tested the feasibility to reduce the temperature of brain tissues by cooling the blood inside carotid and cervical artery through the neck. A simple mathematical model of heat transfer between neck surface, tissue, blood in the carotid and cervical arteries and then brain was studied and then in vitro simulated. Peltier cells were chosen as controlled cooling system and a collar prototype was built and in vitro tested. Results demonstrate the possibility to reduce the temperature of the brain of 2°C in about 50 min. Temperature decrease and process duration fit well together with actual first aid times and medical procedures. Moreover, the collar prototype demonstrated good performances and easy to use, suitable for difficult situations after traumatic accidents.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1540031
JournalJournal of Mechanics in Medicine and Biology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 25 2015


  • Carotid arteries
  • Hypothermia
  • Peltier cells
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering


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