Doppler optical coherence tomography imaging of local fluid flow and shear stress within microporous scaffolds

Yali Jia, Pierre O. Bagnaninchi, Ying Yang, Alicia El Haj, Monica T. Hinds, Sean J. Kirkpatrick, Ruikang K. Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Establishing a relationship between perfusion rate and fluid shear stress in a 3D cell culture environment is an ongoing and challenging task faced by tissue engineers. We explore Doppler optical coherence tomography (DOCT) as a potential imaging tool for in situ monitoring of local fluid flow profiles inside porous chitosan scaffolds. From the measured fluid flow profiles, the fluid shear stresses are evaluated. We examine the localized fluid flow and shear stress within low- and high-porosity chitosan scaffolds, which are subjected to a constant input flow rate of 0.5mlmin -1. The DOCT results show that the behavior of the fluid flow and shear stress in micropores is strongly dependent on the micropore interconnectivity, porosity, and size of pores within the scaffold. For low-porosity and high-porosity chitosan scaffolds examined, the measured local fluid flow and shear stress varied from micropore to micropore, with a mean shear stress of 0.49±0.3dyncm -2 and 0.38±0.2dyncm -2, respectively. In addition, we show that the scaffold's porosity and interconnectivity can be quantified by combining analyses of the 3D structural and flow images obtained from DOCT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number034014
JournalJournal of biomedical optics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009


  • Doppler optical coherence tomography (DOCT)
  • interconnectivity
  • local fluid flow
  • porous scaffold
  • shear stress
  • tissue engineering

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biomaterials


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