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Integration of Acoustic Radiation Force and Optical Imaging for Blood Plasma Clot Stiffness Measurement

Lawrence, Michael; Wang, Caroline W; Perez, Matthew; Helmke, Brian; Viola, Francesco
Lawrence, Michael
Wang, Caroline W
Perez, Matthew
Helmke, Brian
Viola, Francesco
Despite the life-preserving function blood clotting serves in the body, inadequate or excessive blood clot stiffness has been associated with life-threatening diseases such as stroke, hemorrhage, and heart attack. The relationship between blood clot stiffness and vascular diseases underscores the importance of quantifying the magnitude and kinetics of blood’s transformation from a fluid to a viscoelastic solid. To measure blood plasma clot stiffness, we have developed a method that uses ultrasound acoustic radiation force (ARF) to induce micron-scaled displacements (1-500 μm) on microbeads suspended in blood plasma. The displacements were detected by optical microscopy and took place within a micro-liter sized clot region formed within a larger volume (2 mL sample) to minimize container surface effects. Modulation of the ultrasound generated acoustic radiation force allowed stiffness measurements to be made in blood plasma from before its gel point to the stage where it was a fully developed viscoelastic solid. A 0.5 wt %agarose hydrogel was 9.8-fold stiffer than the plasma (platelet-rich) clot at 1 h post-kaolin stimulus. The acoustic radiation force microbead method was sensitive to the presence of platelets and strength of coagulation stimulus. Platelet depletion reduced clot stiffness 6.9 fold relative to platelet rich plasma. The sensitivity of acoustic radiation force based stiffness assessment may allow for studying platelet regulation of both incipient and mature clot mechanical properties.  
Date Received
University of Virginia, June 4, 2015
Published Date
June 4, 2015
Sponsoring Agency
National Institutes of Health
University of Virginia Open Access Fund
Libra Open Repository
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