Noninvasive Detection and Assessment of Gas Emboli and DCS

Noninvasive imaging, monitoring and quantification of microbubbles forming in blood and tissues upon rapid changes in barometric pressure are extremely important for effective therapy and diagnostics of several diseases as well as for a number of imaging and drug delivery projects. We are developing the Phase-Sensitive Swept Source OCT (PhS-SSOCT) technique for real-time, sensitive, accurate, and noninvasive imaging and assessment of microbubbles in blood and skin. Our preliminary data indicate that the accuracy for measurement of the diameter of gas microbubbles is limited to 10 µm in structural imaging and 0.01 µm in phase-sensitive monitoring. The results from the study indicate that PhS-SSOCT could be used to detect fast-moving microbubbles and ultimately could be applied for rapid assessment in biofluids (e.g. blood) and tissues (e.g. skin) in vivo.

Fig 1: SSOCT images of the large (a) and small (c) bubbles in scattering media and corresponding temporal phase responses (b) and (d).