Author(s): Streekstra GJ, Dobbe JG, Hoekstra AG
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Abstract We describe a method to obtain the fraction of poorly deformable red blood cells in a blood sample from the intensity pattern in an ektacytometer. In an ektacytometer red blood cells are transformed into ellipsoids by a shear flow between two transparent cylinders. The intensity pattern, due to a laser beam that is sent through the suspension, is projected on a screen. When measuring a healthy red blood cell population iso-intensity curves are ellipses with an axial ratio equal to that of the average red blood cell. In contrast poorly deformable cells result in circular iso-intensity curves. In this study we show that for mixtures of deformable and poorly deformable red blood cells, iso-intensity curves in the composite intensity pattern are neither elliptical nor circular but obtain cross-like shapes. We propose a method to obtain the fraction of poorly deformable red blood cells from those intensity patterns. Experiments with mixtures of poorly deformable and deformable red blood cells validate the method and demonstrate its accuracy. In a clinical setting our approach is potentially of great value for the detection of the fraction of sickle cells in blood samples of patients with sickle cell disease or to find a measure for the parasitemia in patients infected with malaria.
This article was published in Opt Express
and referenced in Journal of Blood Disorders & Transfusion