Choosing a model for laser speckle contrast

Liu C., Kilic K., Erdener S. E., Boas D. A., Postnov D. D.

BIOMEDICAL OPTICS EXPRESS, vol.12, no.6, 2021 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 12 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1364/boe.426521
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Compendex, EMBASE, Directory of Open Access Journals
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Laser speckle contrast imaging (LSCI) is a real-time full-field non-invasive technique, which is broadly applied to visualize blood flow in biomedical applications. In its foundation is the link between the speckle contrast and dynamics of light scattering particles-erythrocytes. The mathematical form describing this relationship, which is critical for accurate blood flow estimation, depends on the sample's light-scattering properties. However, in biological applications, these properties are often unknown, thus requiring assumptions to be made to perform LSCI analysis. Here, we review the most critical assumptions in the LSCI theory and simulate how they affect blood flow estimation accuracy. We show that the most commonly applied model can severely underestimate the flow change, particularly when imaging brain parenchyma or other capillary perfused tissue (e.g. skin) under ischemic conditions. Based on these observations and guided by the recent experimental results, we propose an alternative model that allows measuring blood flow changes with higher accuracy.