Significance: Noninvasive in vivo fast pulsatile blood flow measurement in deep tissue is important because the blood flow waveform is correlated with physiological parameters, such as blood pressure and elasticity of blood vessels. Compromised blood flow may cause diseases, such as stroke, foot ulcer, and myocardial ischemia. There is great clinical demand for a portable and cost-effective device for noninvasive pulsatile blood flow measurement.
Aim: A diffuse-optics-based method, diffuse speckle pulsatile flowmetry (DSPF), was developed for fast measurement (∼300 Hz) of deep tissue blood flow noninvasively. To validate its performance, both a phantom experiment and in vivo demonstration were conducted.
Approach: Over the past two decades, single-mode fibers have been used as detection fibers in most diffuse-optics-based deep tissue blood flow measurement modalities. We used a multimode (MM) detection fiber with a core size of 200 μm for diffused speckle pattern detection. A background intensity correction algorithm was implemented for speckle contrast calculation. The MM detection fiber helped to achieve a level of deep tissue blood flow measurement similar to that of conventional modalities, such as diffuse correlation spectroscopy and diffuse speckle contrast analysis, but it increases the measurement rate of blood flow to 300 Hz.
Results: The design and implementation of the DSPF system were introduced. The theory of the background intensity correction for the diffused speckle pattern detected by the MM fiber was explained. A flow phantom was built for validation of the performance of the DSPF system. An in vivo cuff-induced occlusion experiment was performed to demonstrate the capability of the proposed DSPF system.
Conclusions: An MM detection fiber can help to achieve fast (∼300 Hz) pulsatile blood flow measurement in the proposed DSPF method. The cost-effective device and the fiber-based flexible probe increase the usability of the DSPF system significantly.