In a self-cooled drill, an especially designed bur is used to transport heat generated at the cutting edge into the handpiece, where it is dissipated into an air heat sink. The bur contains a sealed cavity partially filled with water, which transports heat via the principle of rotating heat pipe technology. The heat transport capability of burs fitted out as rotating heat pipes was established. A conceptual design for a representative bur was prepared, based on surgical drill sculpting criteria. It appears that a self-cooled surgical drill for sculpting can limit bone temperatures below levels for the initiation of thermal damage in bone, nerve, and brain tissue, without the need to employ an externally applied coolant.

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