Cool Mist Irrigation Improves Heat Dissipation during Surgical Bone Drilling. Academic Article uri icon


  • ObjectiveHigh-speed drilling generates heat in small cavities and may pose a risk for neurovascular tissues. We hypothesize that a continuous pressurized cold mist could be an alternative approach for better cooling during drilling of bone to access cranial lesions. This study aims to examine this idea experimentally. DesignEx-vivo drilling tests with controlled speed, feed, and depth were performed on cortical bone samples. Thermocouples were embedded underneath the drilling path to compare the temperature rises under mist cooling (at 3C,<300 mL/h) and flood irrigation (at 22C,>800 mL/h). ResultsA significant difference exists between these two systems (p value<0.05). The measured temperature was 4C lower for mist cooling than for flood irrigation, even with less than a third of the flow rate. ConclusionExperimental data indicate the capability of mist cooling to reduce heat generation while simultaneously enabling flow reduction and targeted cooling. An improved field of view in an extremely narrow access corridor may be achieved with this technology.

published proceedings

  • J Neurol Surg B Skull Base

author list (cited authors)

  • Siljander, B. R., Wang, A. C., Zhang, L., Shih, A. J., Sullivan, S. E., & Tai, B. L.

citation count

  • 9

complete list of authors

  • Siljander, Breana R||Wang, Anthony C||Zhang, Lihui||Shih, Albert J||Sullivan, Stephen E||Tai, Bruce L

publication date

  • January 2014