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Photoplethysmography for the Assessment of Haemorheology

Njoum, H. & Kyriacou, P. A. (2017). Photoplethysmography for the Assessment of Haemorheology. Scientific Reports, 7(1), pp. 1-11. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01636-0


Haemorheology has been long identified as an early biomarker of a wide range of diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases. This study investigates for the first time the suitability of Photoplethysmography (PPG) as a non-invasive diagnostic method for haemorheological changes. The sensitivity of both PPG components (AC and DC) to changes in haemorheology were rigorously investigated in an in vitro experimental setup that mimics the human circulation. A custom-made reflectance PPG sensor, a pressure transducer and an ultrasonic Doppler flowmeter were used to map changes in flow dynamics and optical responses in an arterial model. The study investigated the effect of shear rates by varying fluid pumping frequencies using 4 set-points and the effect of clot formation using a chemical trigger. Both PPGAC amplitudes and PPGDC levels showed significant (p < 0.001) changes during the increase in shear rates and an immediate change after thromboplastin activation. The findings highlight that PPG has the potential to be used as a simple non-invasive method for the detection of blood characteristics, including disaggregation, radial migration and cross-linking fibrin formations. Such capability will enable the assessment of the effects of clotting-activators and anticoagulants (including non-pharmacological methods) and might aid in the early non-invasive assessment of cardiovascular pathologies.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine
T Technology > TA Engineering (General). Civil engineering (General)
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Engineering
SWORD Depositor:
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