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Biomed Opt Express. 2011 Jul 1;2(7):2022-34. doi: 10.1364/BOE.2.002022. Epub 2011 Jun 22.

Microfluidic characterization of cilia-driven fluid flow using optical coherence tomography-based particle tracking velocimetry.


Motile cilia are cellular organelles that generate directional fluid flow across various epithelial surfaces including the embryonic node and respiratory mucosa. The proper functioning of cilia is necessary for normal embryo development and, for the respiratory system, the clearance of mucus and potentially harmful particulate matter. Here we show that optical coherence tomography (OCT) is well-suited for quantitatively characterizing the microfluidic-scale flow generated by motile cilia. Our imaging focuses on the ciliated epithelium of Xenopus tropicalis embryos, a genetically manipulable and experimentally tractable animal model of human disease. We show qualitative flow profile characterization using OCT-based particle pathline imaging. We show quantitative, two-dimensional, two-component flow velocity field characterization using OCT-based particle tracking velocimetry. Quantitative imaging and phenotyping of cilia-driven fluid flow using OCT will enable more detailed research in ciliary biology and in respiratory medicine.


(110.4153) Motion estimation and optical flow; (110.4500) Optical coherence tomography; (170.3880) Medical and biological imaging; (280.2490) Flow diagnostics

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