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Proceedings Paper

Dual-beam optical coherence tomography system for quantification of flow velocity in capillary phantoms
Author(s): S. M. Daly; C. Silien; M. J. Leahy
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Paper Abstract

The quantification of (blood) flow velocity within the vasculature has potent diagnostic and prognostic potential. Assessment of flow irregularities in the form of increased permeability (micro haemorrhaging), the presence of avascular areas, or conversely the presence of vessels with enlarged or increased tortuosity in the acral regions of the body may provide a means of non-invasive in vivo assessment. If assessment of dermal flow dynamics were performed in a routine manner, the existence and prevalence of ailments such as diabetes mellitus, psoriatic arthritis and Raynaud's condition may be confirmed prior to clinical suspicion. This may prove advantageous in cases wherein the efficacy of a prescribed treatment is dictated by a prompt diagnosis and to alleviate patient discomfort through early detection. Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is an imaging modality which utilises the principle of optical interferometry to distinguish between spatial changes in refractive index within the vasculature and thus formulate a multi-dimensional representation of the structure of the epi- and dermal skin layers. The use of the Doppler functionality has been the predominant force for the quantification of moving particles within media, elucidated via estimation of the phase shift in OCT A-scans. However, the theoretical formulation for the assessment of these phase shifts dictates that the angle between the incident light source and the vessel under question be known a priori; this may be achieved via excisional biopsy of the tissue segment in question, but is counter to the non-invasive premise of the OCT technique. To address the issue of angular dependence, an alternate means of estimating absolute flow velocity is presented. The design and development of a dual-beam (db) system incorporating an optical switch mechanism for signal discrimination of two spatially disparate points enabling quasi-simultaneous multiple specimen scanning is described. A crosscorrelation (c-c) of interference fluctuations between these positions is performed computationally, yielding a transit time for particle flow. This paper summarises the findings of the c-c db-Sd-OCT technique for absolute velocity estimation within capillary phantoms of various sizes using IntralipidTM solution to emulate red blood corpuscles (RBCs) and related blood constituents, driven by a calibrated syringe flow pump. The findings of the preliminary experimentation reveal the technique to be capable of estimating absolute velocity values with a maximum error difference of 0.077 mm s-1 using Bland Altman plots. Application of this technique and rigorous testing of the c-c db-Sd-OCT method with biological samples will be the focus of future work.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 February 2012
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 8222, Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics IX, 82220H (9 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919713
Show Author Affiliations
S. M. Daly, Univ. of Limerick (Ireland)
C. Silien, Univ. of Limerick (Ireland)
M. J. Leahy, National Univ. of Ireland, Galway (Ireland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8222:
Dynamics and Fluctuations in Biomedical Photonics IX
Valery V. Tuchin; Donald D. Duncan; Kirill V. Larin; Martin J. Leahy; Ruikang K. Wang, Editor(s)

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