Lasers in Medical Science

, Volume 34, Issue 3, pp 487–494 | Cite as

Application of continuous-wave photoacoustic sensing to red blood cell morphology

  • Abhijeet Gorey
  • Deblina Biswas
  • Anshu Kumari
  • Sharad Gupta
  • Norman Sharma
  • George C. K. Chen
  • Srivathsan VasudevanEmail author
Original Article


The feasibility of continuous wave laser-based photoacoustic (CWPA) response technique in detecting the morphological changes in cells during the biological studies, through the features extracted from CWPA signal (i.e., amplitude) is demonstrated here. Various hematological disorders (e.g., sickle cell anemia, thalesemia) produce distinct changes at the cellular level morphologically. In order to explore the photoacoustic response technique to detect these morphological changes, we have applied CWPA technique onto the blood samples. Results of our preliminary study show a distinct change in the signal amplitude of photoacoustic (PA) signal due to a change in the concentration of blood, which signifies the sensitivity of the technique towards red blood cell (RBC) count (related to hematological disease like anemia). Further hypotonic and hypertonic solutions were induced in blood to produce morphological changes in RBCs (i.e., swollen and shrink, respectively) as compared to the normal RBCs. Experiments were performed using continuous wave laser-based photoacoustic response technique to verify the morphological changes in these RBCs. A distinct change in the PA signal amplitude was found for the distinct nature of RBCs (swollen, shrink, and normal). Thus, this can serve as a diagnostic signature for different biological studies based on morphological changes at cellular level. The experiments were also performed using conventional pulsed laser photoacoustic response technique which uses nano-second pulsed laser and the results obtained from both PA techniques were validated to produce identical changes. This demonstrates the utility of continuous wave laser-based photoacoustic technique for different biological studies related to morphological cellular disorders.


Continuous wave laser based photoacoustic (CWPA) Red blood cell Morphological cellular disorder PA amplitude 



This work is financially supported by Department of Biotechnology, India (Grant No. BT/PR/5879/MED/32/241/2012).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declares that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

Since in this study, human blood from volunteer healthy donors was used as a standard sample (ethical clearance was obtained from bio-safety and bio-ethics committee, Indian Institute of Technology Indore) to perform experiments.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Discipline of Electrical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology IndoreIndoreIndia
  2. 2.Discipline of Biosciences and Biomedical EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology IndoreIndoreIndia
  3. 3.Choithram Hospital and Research CenterIndoreIndia
  4. 4.B. C. Photonics Ltd.VancouverCanada

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