Capillary action

A capillary network.
A capillary network.
Credit: Igor Gurov

The image above, showing a nailfold capillary network, was created using a new technique that combines high speed video recording of red blood cells in the capillary to measure blood flow velocity. The system relies on the combination of optical equipment with specially designed data processing software.

A microscope coupled with a high speed video camera captures the image of capillaries. The frame sequence is then processed in order to restore the capillaries’ shape and configuration as well as to determine the distance that blood cells cover per time unit.

Capillaroscopy is useful in studying the fine detail of the circulatory system and diagnosing certain medical conditions.

The new technique is described in a paper in Optics and Lasers in Engineering.

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