Low-cost laser speckle contrast imaging of blood flow using a webcam


Laser speckle contrast imaging has become a widely used tool for dynamic imaging of blood flow, both in animal models and in the clinic. Typically, laser speckle contrast imaging is performed using scientific-grade instrumentation. However, due to recent advances in camera technology, these expensive components may not be necessary to produce accurate images. In this paper, we demonstrate that a consumer-grade webcam can be used to visualize changes in flow, both in a microfluidic flow phantom and in vivo in a mouse model. A two-camera setup was used to simultaneously image with a high performance monochrome CCD camera and the webcam for direct comparison. The webcam was also tested with inexpensive aspheric lenses and a laser pointer for a complete low-cost, compact setup ($90, 5.6 cm length, 25 g). The CCD and webcam showed excellent agreement with the two-camera setup, and the inexpensive setup was used to image dynamic blood flow changes before and after a targeted cerebral occlusion.

Journal article
Biomedical Optics Express