Due to intravascular multiple sequential scattering, Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopy of tissue primarily measures relative red blood cell motion within vessels

Stefan A. Carp, Nadège Roche-Labarbe, Maria Angela Franceschini, Vivek Srinivasan, Sava Sakadžić, David A. Boas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Scopus citations


We suggest that Diffuse Correlation Spectroscopy (DCS) measurements of tissue blood flow primarily probe relative red blood cell (RBC) motion, due to the occurrence of multiple sequential scattering events within blood vessels. The magnitude of RBC shear-induced diffusion is known to correlate with flow velocity, explaining previous reports of linear scaling of the DCS "blood flow index" with tissue perfusion despite the observed diffusion-like auto-correlation decay. Further, by modeling RBC mean square displacement using a formulation that captures the transition from ballistic to diffusive motion, we improve the fit to experimental data and recover effective diffusion coefficients and velocity de-correlation time scales in the range expected from previous blood rheology studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2047-2054
Number of pages8
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

Cite this