Biomedical and General Engineering Department
BS in General Engineering
The purpose of this project is to design a thermal vest to be worn by individuals with spinal injuries to help regulate their core body temperature. Individuals with spinal injuries have impaired thermoregulation abilities which increase their susceptibility to succumbing to either heat stroke or hypothermia. This project focused on preventing heat stroke by inducing a cooling mechanism. To provide this cooling mechanism, a thermoelectric cooler was used to chill water in a reservoir. This water is then pumped through tubing sewn into the vest. The chilled water will absorb heat from the human body and return to the reservoir. At this point the water will then be re-chilled and recirculated. Testing regarding this method showed that 550 BTUs per hour of heat from the human body. This is almost half the amount of heat dissipated by the human body to maintain a core body temperature of 98.6⁰F. Further testing also verified that the chosen materials are biocompatible and capable of reducing body temperature.