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HVLab

Thermal Aesthesiometer

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Thermal Aesthesiometer

The HVLab thermal Aesthesiometer has been developed through pioneering research in the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research at the University of Southampton. The HVLab Thermal Aesthesiometer provides computer-controlled measurement of tactile thresholds for thermal stimuli. Thresholds for both sensation and pain may be used to indicate sensorineural dysfunction. The HVLab Thermal Aesthesiometer is already used in medical, industrial, educational and research establishments.  

Applications

The HVLab Thermal Aesthesiometer may be used for the assessment of sensory changes associated with neurological dysfunction.

Applications include:

Features

The HVLab Thermal Aesthesiometer system consists of an applicator, a control unit, a computer interface, a patient response button, a temperature probe and software.
The applicator contains of a Peltier semi-conductor heat pump covered by a thin metal plate. The patient may rest a finger or toe on the contact plate, or it could be held against another part of the body. Tests may be performed to determine warm and cool thresholds, starting from either a fixed reference temperature or the skin temperature of the patient. In-built safety cut-outs ensure a safe working temperature range. The temperature probe allows for independent monitoring of the temperature of another site (e.g. room temperature or a second skin location).
The thermal stimulus is controlled and measured by the software. The temperature of the applicator's contact plate is increased or decreased (at the rate selected by the user) until the patient depresses the response button. The temperature is then reversed until it reaches the starting temperature. An automatic test programme repeats this process a pre-set number of times to establish threshold levels for perception of warmth and cool sensations.

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