Master of Science in Biological and Agricultural Engineering (MSBAE)


Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Document Type



Temperature is an important physiological parameter of cell biology. The thermal energy output of cells in vitro can offer insight into cellular processes. Standard methodology of measuring cellular thermal output has been through microcalorimetry. In this work, infrared thermography is presented as an alternative to microcalorimetry and other measurement techniques. An enclosure that controls the temperature of cells and allows for injection of temperature control of chemical agents and subsequent measurement of cell temperature using an infrared camera has been designed and tested. The enclosure was tested with 3T3-L1 adipocytes treated with the β3 adrenergic agonist CL 316-243 for up to seven days in order to stimulate heat generation. The optimization of the system was successful in ensuring that large temperature fluctuations in the design were minimized. It was shown that there was no statistical difference (p>0.5) in the temperature of empty cell wells treated with vehicle, therefore significant differences observed in cell studies are due to differences in cellular metabolism brought about by chemical stimulation. A statistical power test based on the initial characterization using a 95% confidence interval shows that 3 replicates should be adequate to detect an average temperature increase of approximately 0.3°C assuming the treatment standard deviation remained the same as the control blanks. The enclosure was tested with 3T3-L1 adipocytes treated with the synthetic agonist CL 316-243 for 0, 4 and 7 days prior to being measured using infrared thermography and are shown to heat up significantly in some cases. Standard deviations increased slightly in the cell treatment tests and therefore larger temperature increases were necessary to establish a significant increase. It was hypothesized that the 7-day treatment would have the largest response, however some of the 4-day treatments were shown to have statistically significant increases over controls whereas the seven-day treatments only indicated a tendency of temperature increase over the control. This is likely due to the desensitization of the cells. Advances in IR techniques and decreasing cost of IR technology makes it likely that IR technology use in biotechnology will increase in the future.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Dorin Boldor



Included in

Engineering Commons