Evaluation of a pointwise microcirculation assessment method using liquid and multilayered tissue simulating phantoms
A fiber-optic probe-based instrument, designed for assessment of parameters related to microcirculation, red blood cell tissue fraction (fRBC), oxygen saturation (S), and speed resolved perfusion, has been evaluated using state-of-the-art tissue phantoms. The probe integrates diffuse reflectance spectroscopy (DRS) at two source-detector separations and laser Doppler flowmetry, using an inverse Monte Carlo method for identifying the parameters of a multilayered tissue model. Here, we characterize the accuracy of the DRS aspect of the instrument using (1) liquid blood phantoms containing yeast and (2) epidermis-dermis mimicking solid-layered phantoms fabricated from polydimethylsiloxane, titanium oxide, hemoglobin, and coffee. The root-mean-square (RMS) deviations for fRBC for the two liquid phantoms were 11% and 5.3%, respectively, and 11% for the solid phantoms with highest hemoglobin signatures. The RMS deviation for S was 5.2% and 2.9%, respectively, for the liquid phantoms, and 2.9% for the solid phantoms. RMS deviation for the reduced scattering coefficient (μs′), for the solid phantoms was 15% (475 to 850 nm). For the liquid phantoms, the RMS deviation in average vessel diameter (D) was 1 μm. In conclusion, the skin microcirculation parameters fRBC and S, as well as, μs′ and D are estimated with reasonable accuracy.