City Research Online

Reflectance photoplethysmography for non-invasive monitoring of tissue perfusion

Ysehak Abay, T. (2016). Reflectance photoplethysmography for non-invasive monitoring of tissue perfusion. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Monitoring blood perfusion and oxygenation changes is of vital importance and for this reason many different techniques have been developed over the decades. Photoplethysmography (PPG) is an optical technique that measures blood volume variations in vascular tissue and it is well known for its utilisation in pulse oximetry for the estimation of arterial blood oxygen saturation (SpO2). In pulse oximetry, mainly the pulsatile component of the signal (AC PPG) is used while the continuous DC component is mostly excluded. Near Infrared Spectroscopy (NIRS) is another optical technique that measures changes in the concentration of oxygenated (ΔHbO2), deoxygenated (ΔHHb), and total haemoglobin (ΔtHb) from the variations in light attenuations at different wavelengths.

The main motivation of this research is to explore the capability of Photoplethysmography in assessing tissue perfusion and oxygenation similarly as NIRS. The hypothesis underlining this research is that the DC component of the PPG signal contains information on the overall absorbed light and this part of the PPG signal, acquired at least two wavelengths, may be used to obtain ΔHbO2, ΔHHb, and ΔtHb as performed in NIRS. Therefore, DC PPG attenuations may be related to haemoglobin concentrations by the modified Beer-Lambert law (MBLL). In order to investigate this, novel reflectance, custom-made PPG sensors and measurement systems, including advanced signal processing algorithms, have been developed for the acquisition and analysis of raw PPG signals (AC + DC) from different anatomical locations.

Three in vivo studies on healthy volunteers were carried out in order to investigate if ΔHbO2, ΔHHb, and ΔtHb estimated from PPG could indicate changes in blood perfusion and oxygenation. The studies consisted of vascular occlusions on the forearm, negative bed tilting, and whole body cold exposure. Raw PPG signals were acquired from different locations such as the forearm, fingers, and forehead, whereas simultaneous NIRS signals were used as a reference. The results showed that ΔHbO2, ΔHHb, and ΔtHb could be effectively estimated from PPG signals. These parameters indicated the changes in blood volumes and/or oxygenation, whereas comparison with NIRS signals showed good levels of correlation and trending. These promising results showed that DC PPG signals could be used to monitor changes in blood perfusion and oxygenation, extending the range of applications of Photoplethysmography.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: Q Science > QM Human anatomy
Q Science > QP Physiology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology
School of Science & Technology > Engineering > Electrical & Electronic Engineering
[thumbnail of Abay, Tomas.pdf]
Text - Accepted Version
Download (13MB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login