Multi-image particle tracking velocimetry of the microcirculation using fluorescent nanoparticles

Dino J. Ravnic, Yu Zhong Zhang, Akira Tsuda, Juan P. Pratt, Harold T. Huss, Steven J. Mentzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Particle tracking velocimetry provides a Lagrangian description of flow properties in the microcirculation. To determine the utility of fluorescent nanoparticles to provide Lagrangian coordinates, we tracked these particles both in vitro and in vivo. The particles had a neutral charge and fluorescence intensity greater than 1000 times the PKH26-labeled red blood cells. At image acquisition rates of 60 frames per second, particles were tracked at velocities up to 4000 μm/s. Morphometric changes reflecting streaking artifact were significant at velocities of 4000 μm/s (P < 0.05), but not at lower velocities (P > 0.05). Intravital microscopy monitoring after intravenous injection of the particles demonstrated a circulation half-life that was inversely related to particle size: 500 nm nanoparticles demonstrated a smaller change in plasma concentration than larger particles. Regardless of the size of the particles, more than 50% of the recovered fluorescence was located in the liver. These results suggest that fluorescent nanoparticles provide a convenient and practical Lagrangian description of flow velocity in the microcirculation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalMicrovascular Research
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - Jul 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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