The study of flow dynamics in complex geometry vessels is highly important in many biomedical applications where the knowledge of the mechanic interactions between the moving fluid and the housing media plays a key role for the determination of the parameters of interest, including the effect of blood flow on the possible rupture of atherosclerotic plaques. Doppler Optical Coherence Tomography (DOCT), as a functional extension of Optical Coherence Tomography
(OCT), is an optic, non-contact, non-invasive technique able to achieve detailed analysis of the flow/vessel interactions.
It allows simultaneous high resolution imaging (10 μm typical) of the morphology and composition of the vessel and
determination of the flow velocity distribution along the measured cross-section.
We applied DOCT system to image high-resolution one-dimensional and multi-dimensional velocity distribution profiles
of Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids flowing in vessels with complex geometry, including Y-shaped and T-shaped vessels, vessels with aneurism, bifurcated vessels with deployed stent and scaffolds. The phantoms were built to mimic typical shapes of human blood vessels, enabling preliminary analysis of the interaction between flow dynamics and the (complex) geometry of the vessels and also to map the related velocity profiles at several inlet volume flow rates. Feasibility studies for quantitative observation of the turbulence of flows arising within the complex geometry vessels are discussed. In addition, DOCT technique was also applied for monitoring cerebral mouse blood flow in vivo. Two-dimensional DOCT images of complex flow velocity profiles in blood vessel phantoms and in vivo sub-cranial mouse blood flow velocities distributions are presented.