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Velocimetry of red blood cells in microvessels by the dual-slit method: Effect of velocity gradients

Roman, Sophie and Lorthois, Sylvie and Duru, Paul and Risso, Frédéric Velocimetry of red blood cells in microvessels by the dual-slit method: Effect of velocity gradients. (2012) Microvascular Research, 84 (3). 249-261. ISSN 0026-2862

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mvr.2012.08.006


The dual-slit is a photometric technique used for the measurement of red blood cell (RBC) velocity in microvessels. Two photometric windows (slits) are positioned along the vessel. Because the light is modulated by the RBCs flowing through the microvessel, a time dependent signal is captured for each window. A time delay between the two signals is obtained by temporal cross correlation, and is used to deduce a velocity, knowing the distance between the two slits. Despite its wide use in the field of microvascular research, the velocity actually measured by this technique has not yet been unambiguously related to a relevant velocity scale of the flow (e.g. mean or maximal velocity) or to the blood flow rate. This is due to a lack of fundamental understanding of the measurement and also because such a relationship is crucially dependent on the non-uniform velocity distribution of RBCs in the direction parallel to the light beam, which is generally unknown. The aim of the present work is to clarify the physical significance of the velocity measured by the dual-slit technique. For that purpose, dual-slit measurements were performed on computer-generated image sequences of RBCs flowing in microvessels, which allowed all the parameters related to this technique to be precisely controlled. A parametric study determined the range of optimal parameters for the implementation of the dual-slit technique. In this range, it was shown that, whatever the parameters governing the flow, the measured velocity was the maximal RBC velocity found in the direction parallel to the light beam. This finding was then verified by working with image sequences of flowing RBCs acquired in PDMS micro-systems in vitro. Besides confirming the results and physical understanding gained from the study with computer generated images, this in vitro study showed that the profile of RBC maximal velocity across the channel was blunter than a parabolic profile, and exhibited a non-zero sliding velocity at the channel walls. Overall, the present work demonstrates the robustness and high accuracy of the optimized dual-slit technique in various flow conditions, especially at high hematocrit, and discusses its potential for applications in vivo.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Thanks to Elsevier editor. The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mvr.2012.08.006
HAL Id:hal-01692509
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution:French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - Toulouse INP (FRANCE)
Université de Toulouse > Université Toulouse III - Paul Sabatier - UT3 (FRANCE)
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Deposited On:25 Jun 2013 08:08

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