3 March 2014 Acoustic resolution photoacoustic Doppler flowmetry: practical considerations for obtaining accurate measurements of blood flow
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Abstract
An assessment has been made of various experimental factors affecting the accuracy of flow velocities measured using a pulsed time correlation photoacoustic Doppler technique. In this method, Doppler time shifts are quantified via crosscorrelation of pairs of photoacoustic waveforms generated in moving absorbers using pairs of laser light pulses, and the photoacoustic waves are detected using an ultrasound transducer. The acoustic resolution mode is employed by using the transducer focal width, rather than the large illuminated volume, to define the lateral spatial resolution. This enables penetration depths of several millimetres or centimetres, unlike methods using the optical resolution mode, which limits the maximum penetration depth to approximately 1 mm. In the acoustic resolution mode, it is difficult to detect time shifts in highly concentrated suspensions of flowing absorbers, such as red blood cell suspensions and whole blood, and this challenge supposedly arises because of the lack of spatial heterogeneity. However, by assessing the effect of different absorption coefficients and tube diameters, we offer an alternative explanation relating to light attenuation and parabolic flow. We also demonstrate a new signal processing method that surmounts the previous problem of measurement under-reading. This method is a form of signal range gating and enables mapping of the flow velocity profile across the tube as well as measurement of the average flow velocity. We show that, using our signal processing scheme, it is possible to measure the flow of whole blood using a relatively low frequency detector. This important finding paves the way for application of the technique to measurements of blood flow several centimetres deep in living tissue.
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J. Brunker, P. Beard, "Acoustic resolution photoacoustic Doppler flowmetry: practical considerations for obtaining accurate measurements of blood flow", Proc. SPIE 8943, Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing 2014, 89431K (3 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2039619; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2039619
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