Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a widespread and often undiagnosed condition associated with increased incidence of serious cardiovascular events. Current diagnostic tests for PAD may not be adequate for screening the large at-risk population. A new skin blood flow measurement technique using RF heating in the millimeter wave band, with simultaneous surface temperature measurement offers a potential method for screening individuals at risk for PAD quickly and easily. The feasibility of a transducer design incorporating a microstrip antenna and one or more infrared temperature sensors was evaluated in vitro, using a phantom skin material and a custom flow chamber. Results demonstrate the ability to heat the unperfused phantom by up to 7°C in less than 60 s, depending on antenna separation distance from the target surface. At a distance of 2 mm, preliminary results indicate the rate of temperature increase is sensitive to flowrate. These results suggest a possible method for noninvasive screening of individuals for PAD that is quick, easy and inexpensive.

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