Thermal model to investigate the temperature in bone grinding for skull base neurosurgery Academic Article uri icon


  • This study develops a thermal model utilizing the inverse heat transfer method (IHTM) to investigate the bone grinding temperature created by a spherical diamond tool used for skull base neurosurgery. Bone grinding is a critical procedure in the expanded endonasal approach to remove the cranial bone and access to the skull base tumor via nasal corridor. The heat is generated during grinding and could damage the nerve or coagulate the blood in the carotid artery adjacent to the bone. The finite element analysis is adopted to investigate the grinding-induced bone temperature rise. The heat source distribution is defined by the thermal model, and the temperature distribution is solved using the IHTM with experimental inputs. Grinding experiments were conducted on a bovine cortical bone with embedded thermocouples. Results show significant temperature rise in bone grinding. Using 50°C as the threshold, the thermal injury can propagate about 3mm in the traverse direction, and 3mm below the ground surface under the dry grinding condition. The presented methodology demonstrated the capability of being a thermal analysis tool for bone grinding study.

author list (cited authors)

  • Zhang, L., Tai, B. L., Wang, G., Zhang, K., Sullivan, S., & Shih, A. J.

citation count

  • 34

publication date

  • May 2013