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Validation of a new whole-body cryotherapy chamber based on forced convection

Abstract : Whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) and partial-body cryotherapy (PBC) are two methods of cold exposure (from −110 to −195 °C according to the manufacturers). However, temperature measurement in the cold chamber during a PBC exposure revealed temperatures ranging from −25 to −50 °C next to the skin of the subjects (using isolating layer placed between the sensor and the skin). This discrepancy is due to the human body heat transfer. Moreover, on the surface of the body, an air layer called the boundary layer is created during the exposure and limits heat transfer from the body to the cabin air. Incorporating forced convection in a chamber with a participant inside could reduce this boundary layer. The aim of this study was to explore the use of a new WBC technology based on forced convection (frontal unilateral wind) through the measurement of skin temperature. Fifteen individuals performed a 3-min WBC exposure at −40 °C with an average wind speed of 2.3 m s−1. The subjects wore a headband, a surgical mask, underwear, gloves and slippers. The skin temperature of the participants was measured with a thermal camera just before exposure, just after exposure and at 1, 3, 5, 10, 15 and 20 min after exposure. Mean skin temperature significantly dropped by 11 °C just after exposure (p<0.001) and then significantly increased during the 20-min post exposure period (p<0.001). No critically low skin temperature was observed at the end of the cold exposure. This decrease was greater than the mean decreases in all the cryosauna devices with reported exposures between −140 °C and −160 °C and those in two other WBC devices with reported exposures between −60 °C and −110 °C. The use of this new technology provides the ability to reach decreases in skin temperature similar to other technologies. The new chamber is suitable and relevant for use as a WBC device.
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Submitted on : Monday, November 16, 2020 - 11:36:32 AM
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Romain Bouzigon, Ahlem Arfaoui, Frédéric Grappe, Gilles Ravier, Benoit Jarlot, et al.. Validation of a new whole-body cryotherapy chamber based on forced convection. Journal of Thermal Biology, Elsevier, 2017, 65, pp.138-144. ⟨10.1016/j.jtherbio.2017.02.019⟩. ⟨hal-03007159⟩



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