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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2008 Aug;25(8):2088-94.

Can laser speckle flowmetry be made a quantitative tool?

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Department of Biomedical Engineering, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR 97239, USA.


The ultimate objective of laser speckle flowmetry (and a host of specific implementations such as laser speckle contrast analysis, LASCA or LSCA; laser speckle spatial contrast analysis, LSSCA; laser speckle temporal contrast analysis, LSTCA; etc.) is to infer flow velocity from the observed speckle contrast. Despite numerous demonstrations over the past 25 years of such a qualitative relationship, no convincing quantitative relationship has been proven. One reason is a persistent mathematical error that has been propagated by a host of workers; another is a misconception about the proper autocorrelation function for ordered flow. Still another hindrance has been uncertainty in the specific relationship between decorrelation time and local flow velocity. Herein we attempt to dispel some of these errors and misconceptions with the intent of turning laser speckle flowmetry into a quantitative tool. Specifically we review the underlying theory, explore the impact of various analytic models for relating measured intensity fluctuations to scatterer motion, and address some of the practical issues associated with the measurement and subsequent data processing.

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