The present communication presents a single microprobe technique for measuring tissue thermal properties based on the dissipation of a measured amount of energy and the observation of the resulting temperature rise a given time later. An advantage of this method is that the effective sampling volume can be varied by varying the measurement time. Using a measurement time of a few seconds, the sampling volume was estimated to be several orders of magnitude greater than the probe volume. Hence artifacts due to probe-induced trauma or stress would be insignificant. Additional advantages of the technique are: the results were independent of the probe shape, size and properties, and hence represents absolute measurements without the need for calibration; the required electronics and computations are simple; the determination of thermal conductivity requires only a single measurement; and comparison of data at different measurement times yields a clear and unequivocal indication of nonconductive contributions of heat transfer, if present.

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