J. Phys. IV France
Volume 125, June 2005
Page(s) 657 - 660

J. Phys. IV France 125 (2005) 657-660

DOI: 10.1051/jp4:2005125150

Human nail thermal diffusivity obtained using the open photoacoustic cell technique

D.T. Dias, L.E.R. Nuglish, E. Sehn, M.L. Baesso, A.N. Medina and A.C. Bento

Departamento de Física, Universidade Estadual de Maringá, Av. Colombo 5790, Maringá-Paraná, 87020-900, Brazil

In this work the open photoacoustic cell technique (OPC) is applied for measuring the thermal diffusivity ($\alpha$) of human nail tips. Human nails are natural polymers that receive less attention in clinical analysis than other human body parts, although they are very interesting in giving information about some external diseases like dystrophies. Diagnosis and therapy with topic application of anti-fungal creams could be monitored since thermal properties are known. The OPC experiments in the low frequency range were done and through photoacoustic signal decay, the OPC model were used for fitting data in order to obtain the thermal diffusivity of the human nail in vitro. The average value for the nail tips used was found to be $\alpha \sim (8.9 \pm 1.3) \times 10^{-4}$ cm2/s, when different light source is used for photothermal heating. This average is of the order of that evaluated for the human skin.

© EDP Sciences 2005