Red Blood Cell Lab
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Research tools

Non-Invasive Computer Assisted Intravital Microscopy (Cytoscan) is a transportable instrument that can be used at the bedside, and is intended for the visualization and characterization of the microcirculation system on the surface of solid organs and other sites such as mucosal tissue. No diagnostic or therapeutic claims are made for the device. It enables capillary blood cell velocity to be measured in real time, directly from the subject, or recorded video, allowing more than one vessel to be measured from the same image sequence.

The Orthogonal Polarization Spectral Imaging (OPSI) process begins with the filtering of light to 550 nm, which is the wavelength that is absorbed by hemoglobin. The filtered light is then polarized, and then directed at the target tissue. Light is either reflected back to the source or scattered within the tissue.

frame The hemoglobin in the red blood cells absorbs the light and becomes visible against the lighter background. The image represents an area of 1mm in diameter.

Video of a control individual

The data analysis software allows the user to draw boxes along any section of vessel.  The program will then measure the vessel diameter and use pixel analysis to calculate the corresponding velocity of blood flow through the given section. The final velocity measurement is gathered from several sets of data from one 10-second video clip, and then from subsequent clips in various sublingual locations from the same patient.

Video of a sickle cell patient

The video clip of the circulation of a sickle cell patient shows areas of stopped blood flow.