Progress Report 6
Following a joint meeting with Dr. Walker and Melanie McWade, the team refocused on creating validation and POC for the laser speckle system. The past two weeks have resulted in numerous alterations to the laboratory setup. The laser and CCD have been placed higher to distance them from the sample and minimize oversaturation. Aperture width has been changed to further address oversaturation. Polystyrene beads have been sourced and added to the microfluidic phantom to mimic erythrocytes flowing in the blood–this has improved the contrast of the laser speckle imaging and increased the effectiveness of the phantom. Image acquisition software assets have been reworked with the assistance of biophotonics graduate student Isaac Pence.
Validation of the image processing code has been achieved by successful processing of an in vivo perfused vascular image taken from previous laser speckle imaging by another group. Results from the system rework have shown marginal proof of concept. Isaac Pence assessed the goodness of the laser speckling hardware setup and found it to be good. Laser speckle contrast can be seen in channels perfused with the polystyrene bead red dye; however, resolution is low and there are concerns about the quality of the phantom. A microfluidic pump has been obtained and should be operational by February 24. A new, less hydrophobic batch of microfluidic devices may be created to allow for better imaging.