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Thermosense laboratory

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About the Thermosense laboratory

ThermosenseLab is a purpose-built laboratory designed for researching how the body responds to thermal environments.

We evaluate the biophysical and physiological mechanisms that allow humans to:

  • regulate their body temperature
  • temperature and wetness of their skin
  • adapt their thermal behaviour

Our state-of-the art facilities allow us to study these mechanisms under different conditions, such as when the body is at rest, during exercise and under heat or cold stress.

We have a climatic chamber within the Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility (WTCRF). This provides accurate control of ambient temperature and humidity, allowing us to simulate hot, cold, and humid environments.

An important part of our research is investigating people affected by temperature-sensitive pathologies. This includes diseases such as multiple sclerosis.


We offer a variety of enterprise and consultancy services that can be tailored to the specific needs of your business. 

These include: ​ 

  • human participants testing of products and wearables 
  • bench testing of devices' performance 
  • quantitative sensory testing of consumers' behaviour and preference
  • evidence synthesis and literature reviews on selected topics

Part of: ThermosenseLab

Technical specification

We host a range of high-precision equipment and sensors.

Human thermometry and calorimetry

Our equipment includes:

  • skin sensors (thermocouple and thermistors)
  • core temperature sensors (gastrointestinal and rectal)
  • skin wetness sensors (hygrometers)
  • infrared thermal cameras
  • metabolic cart (Cosmed)

Cardiovascular responses

Our equipment includes: 

  • Laser Doppler Flowmetry
  • exercise blood pressure and heart rate monitoring (Tango system)
  • optical coherence tomography of microvascular plexus

Quantitative thermo-sensory and mechano-sensory testing

Testing equipment includes:

  • thermal probes of various sizes for body mapping of thermal and wetness sensitivity
  • custom built thermo-mechanical probes with continuous skin blood flow and pressure monitoring (BrassMonkey)
  • thermo-friction rig for evaluation of skin-textile interaction
  • Von Fry’s monofilaments for tactile sensitivity mapping

Climatic chamber

The chamber offers:

  • a 20 metres by 20 metres capacity
  • an air temperature range of 5°C to 45°C
  • a relative humidity control range of 20% to 90%

Water perfused suit

We have a full body suit with water heater and reservoir for passive heat and cold stress studies.

Exercise ergometers

These includes

  • running treadmill
  • semi-recumbent Lode Corivial cycle ergometer

Thermosense Lab

Contact us

If you have an idea you would like to explore for an enterprise or consultancy project with your business, please contact us.
Level A, Room AA97, South Academic Block (MP11), Southampton General Hospital, Tremona Road, Southampton, SO16 6YD    
We’re open Monday to Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm UK time.