Analysis of vascular response to systemic heating using the pallid bat wing
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The objective of this research is to analyze the relationship between environ-mental heat exchange and vascular response in the pallid bat wing during systemicheating and to develop a simplied model of heat transfer for theoretical analysis.During heating experiments, metabolic activity, body temperature and alterations invessel diameter and blood ow were monitored. This research is very signicant, asit will correlate thermoregulation and vascular response in a way that has not beenstudied before.The wing of the pallid bat is selected because the microvascular bed performssimilar functions as that of the human skin in terms of thermoregulation; understand-ing vascular response to heat or cold allows to analyze vascular function, or arterialhealth, a response that is altered at early stages of several diseases in humans. Athigh body temperatures, bats can dissipate heat through their wings; the bat wingserves as a thermal window where heat exchange is determined by local blood owand vascular response in the wing.For this study, a lumped mathematical model to calculate body and skin tem-perature alterations in response to changes in environmental conditions has beendeveloped. In order to formulate this model, experiments have been proposed wherethe pallid bat is subjected to dynamic systemic heating with and without the wingextended. By having the wing extended outside a metabolic chamber during heating,the bats were able to maintain an equilibrated body temperature; having the wing enclosed caused body temperature to increase rapidly. The experiments were designedto obtain correlations between systemic and vascular responses and therefore learnabout the thermoregulatory mechanisms of the pallid bat.Results from experiments following Animal Use Protocols 2006-253 and 2007-110indicate that vascular responses to environmental temperature changes (changes inTchamber) maintain or reduce body temperature to basal conditions. Vessel diameter,centerline velocity, blood ow and heat ux increase with Tchamber therefore deliveringa greater volume of blood to the bat wing and increasing heat exchange with theenvironment. The positive responses in the wing to Tchamber signify that the pallidbat is regulating its body temperature as had been expected.
Mendez, Tanya (2007). Analysis of vascular response to systemic heating using the pallid bat wing. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from