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The development of medical sensor networks (MSNs) is imperative for e-healthcare, but security remains a formidable challenge yet to be resolved. Traditional cryptographic mechanisms do not suffice given the unique characteristics of MSNs, and the fact that MSNs are susceptible to a variety of node misbehaviors. In such situations, the security and performance of MSNs depend on the cooperative and trust nature of the distributed nodes, and it is important for each node to evaluate the trustworthiness of other nodes. In this paper, we identify the unique features of MSNs and introduce relevant node behaviors, such as transmission rate and leaving time, into trust evaluation to detect malicious nodes. We then propose an application-independent and distributed trust evaluation model for MSNs. The trust management is carried out through the use of simple cryptographic techniques. Simulation results demonstrate that the proposed model can be used to effectively identify malicious behaviors and thereby exclude malicious nodes. This paper also reports the experimental results of the Collection Tree Protocol with the addition of our proposed model in a network of TelosB motes, which show that the network performance can be significantly improved in practice. Further, some suggestions are given on how to employ such a trust evaluation model in some application scenarios.