Laser Speckle Contrast Imaging (LSCI) is a non-invasive technique to measure blood movement and tissue perfusion. The LSCI technique is based on the reflection of light from laser-illuminated tissues. The reflecting light forms a random interference pattern consisting of dark and bright areas, the speckle pattern. In resting state, there is a constant movement of red blood cells; this causes a relative constant speckle pattern. During physical movement or certain functional tests, the movement of red blood cells changes, resulting in an altered speckle pattern. This speckle pattern can be back-translated into blood flow and as such serves as a quantitative measure for tissue perfusion.
At CHDR, we employ LSCI as a model or biomarker in clinical studies. For example, it is used to determine the skin’s inflammatory status in dermatological conditions, to study endothelial (dys)function, wound healing and burns, and to assess the effect of local challenges, such as intradermal LPS or topical imiquimod. Next to dermatology and immunology research, we also increasingly apply LSCI in clinical studies in other areas, such as neurology and vascular medicine. To meet this increasing demand, we have recently installed three brand new PeriCam PSI NR Laser Speckle systems. Not only does this increase our capacity, the new Laser Speckle systems also have a resolution that is three times higher than our former systems, and additional/improved functionalities such as a zoom functionality that enables a more flexible working distance.
The Laser Speckle systems are part of CHDR’s DermaToolbox, a comprehensive set of objective measurements and instruments used to systematically quantify subjective symptoms. In addition to conventional clinical photography, DermaToolbox uses high-definition 3D photography to measure lesion dimensions, properties, and surface features, and it includes a wide variety of methods for objectively measuring the effects of compounds on the skin, such as transepidermal water loss, lipid profiling and colorimetry.
Click here to watch a video overview of the DermaToolbox.