Tracking the dynamics of thrombus formation in a blood vessel-on-chip with visible-light optical coherence tomography

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Abstract

Thrombus formation is a physiological response to damage in a blood vessel that relies on a complex interplay of platelets, coagulation factors, immune cells, and the vessel wall. The dynamics of thrombus formation are essential for a deeper understanding of many disease processes, like bleeding, wound healing, and thrombosis. However, monitoring thrombus formation is challenging due to the limited imaging options available to analyze flowing blood. In this work, we use a visible-light optical coherence tomography (vis-OCT) system to monitor the dynamic process of the formation of thrombi in a microfluidic blood vessel-on-chip (VoC) device. Inside the VoC, thrombi form in a channel lined with a monolayer of endothelial cells and perfused by human whole blood. We show that the correlation of the vis-OCT signal can be utilized as a marker for thrombus formation. By thresholding the correlation during thrombus formation, we track and quantify the growth of the thrombi over time. We validate our results with fluorescence microscopic imaging of fibrin and platelet markers at the end of the blood perfusion assay. In conclusion, we demonstrate that the correlation of the vis-OCT signal can be used to visualize both the spatial and temporal behavior of the thrombus formation in flowing human whole blood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5642-5655
Number of pages14
JournalBiomedical optics express
Volume14
Issue number11
Early online date9 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

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