Non-invasive Measurement of Blood Components

Sensors for an In-Vivo Haemoglobin Measurement
  • J. Kraitl
  • D. Klinger
  • D. Fricke
  • U. Timm
  • H. Ewald
Part of the Smart Sensors, Measurement and Instrumentation book series (SSMI, volume 1)


This paper reports about fundamentals, simulations and measurements of optical absorption characteristics of whole blood and human tissues. A sensor system to measure blood components as haemoglobin is presented and corresponding results of in-vitro and in-vivo measurements. As basic technology NIR-spectroscopy and Photoplethysmography (PPG) is used for these non-invasive optical measurements. The characteristic absorption coefficient of blood in the visible and NIR region is well known and is mainly influenced by the different haemoglobin derivates. This fact is used to calculate the optical absorbability characteristics of blood which is yielding information about blood components as arterial oxygen saturation (SpO2), haemoglobin (Hb), carboxy-haemoglobin (CoHb) and met-haemoglobin. The measured PPG time signals and the ratio between the peak to peak pulse amplitudes are used for a calculation of these parameters. Haemoglobin is the main component of red blood cells. The primary function of Haemoglobin is the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the tissue and carbon dioxide back to the lungs. The Haemoglobin concentration in human blood is an important parameter in evaluating the physiological status of an individual and an essential parameter in every blood count. In currently standards, invasive methods are used to measure the Haemoglobin concentration, whereby blood is taken from the patient and subsequently analysed. Apart from the discomfort of drawing blood samples, an added disadvantage of this method is the delay between the blood collection and its analysis, which does not allow real time patient monitoring in critical situations. A non-invasive method allows pain free continuous on-line patient monitoring with minimum risk of infection and facilitates real time data monitoring allowing immediate clinical reaction to the measured data. The newly developed optical sensor systems uses up to five wavelengths in the range of 600 nm to 1400 nm for a measurement of the haemoglobin concentration, oxygen saturation and pulse. This non-invasive multi-spectral measurement method was tested with prototype-devices based on radiation of monochromatic light emitted by laser diodes and by using light emitting diodes (LED) through an area of skin on the finger. The sensors assembled in this investigation are fully integrated into wearable finger clips.


Light Emit Diode Haemoglobin Concentration Blood Component Noninvasive Measurement Free Path Length 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Wukitsch, M.W., Petterson, M.T., Tobler, D.R., Prologe, J.A.: pulse oximetry: analysis of theory, technology, and practice. J. Clin. Monit. 4, 290–301 (1988)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ahrens, T., Rutherford, K.: Essentials of Oxygenation: Implication for Clinical Practice. Jones & Bartlett Pub. (1993)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Roberts, V.C.: Photoplethysmography – Fundamental aspects of the optical properties of blood in motion. Trans. Inst. Meas. Control 4, 101–106 (1982)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Roggan, A., Friebel, M., Dörschel, K., Hahn, A., Müller, G.: Optical properties of circulating human blood in the wavelength range 400-2500 nm. J. Biomed. Opt. 4, 36–46 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Prahl, S.A., Keijzer, M., Jacques, S.L., Welch, A.J.: A Monte Carlo model of light propagation in tissue. In: Proc. SPIE IS, 6th edn., vol. 5 (1989)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Prahl, S.A.: Inverse adding-doubling program. Oregon Medical Laser Center, St. Vincent Hospital (2011)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kamal, A.A.R., Hatness, J.B., Irving, G., Means, A.J.: Skin photoplethysmography – a review. Comput. Methods Programs Biomed. 28, 257–269 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Schmidt, H.M., Lanz, U.: Chirurgische Anatomie der Hand. Stuttgart, Hippokrates, Verlag (1992)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Niemz, M.H.: Laser-Tissue Interactions – Fundamentals and Applications. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics QE-32, 1717–1722 (1996)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Kraitl, J.: Die nichtinvasive Bestimmung der Hämoglobinkonzentration im Blut mittels Pulsphotometrie. MBV Verlag, Berlin (2007) ISBN 3-86664-361-6Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Wang, L., Jacques, S.L., Zheng, L.: MCML-Monte Carlo modeling of light transport in multi-layered tissues. Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine 47, 131–146 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Veach, E., Guibas, L.J.: Robust monte carlo methods for light transport simulation. Stanford University, Stanford (1998)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Sobol, I.M.: A Primer for the Monte Carlo Method. CRC Press, Boca Raton (1994)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Born, M., Wolf: Principles of Optics: Electromagnetic Theory of Propagation, Interference and Diffraction of Light, 6th (corrected) (edn.) Pergamon Press, New York (1986)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Yaroslavsky, A.N., Yaroslavsky, I.V., Goldbach, T., Schwarzmaier, H.J.: The optical properties of blood in the near infrared spectral range, in Optical Diagnostics of Living Cells and biofluids. In: Proc. SPIE, Int. Soc. Opt. Eng., vol. 2678, p. 314 (1996)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Tuchin, V.: Tissue Optics - Light Scattering Methods and Instruments for Medical Diagnosis, 2nd edn., pp. 145–191. SPIE (2007)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bashkatov, A.N., Genina, É.A., Kochubey, V.I., Tuchin, V.V.: Optical Properties of the Subcutaneous Adipose Tissue in the Spectral Range 400 – 2500 nm. Text 99, 868–874 (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Troy, T.L., Thennadil, S.N.: Optical properties of human skin in the near infrared wavelength range of 1000 to 2200 nm. J. Biomed. Opt. 6, 167 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Weininger, S.A.: Prototype device for standardized calibration of pulse oximeters II. Journal of Clinical Monitoring and Computing (2002)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Firbank, M., Oda, M., Delpy, D.T.: An improved design for a stable and reproducible phantom material for use in near-infrared spectroscopy and imaging. Physics in Medicine and Biology 40, 955–961 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Lualdi, M., Colombo, A., Farina, B., Tomatis, S., Marchesini, R.: A phantom with tissue-like optical properties in the visible and near infrared for use in photomedicine. Lasers Surg. Med. 28, 237–243 (2001) doi: 10.1002/lsm.1044CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Firbank, M.: A design for a stable and reproducible phantom for use in near infrared imaging and spectroscopy. Physics in Medicine and Biology 38, 847–853 (1993)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Koh, P.H., Elwell, C.E., Delpy, D.T.: Development of a dynamic test phantom for optical topography. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 645, 141–146 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Roggan, A., Friebel., M., et al.: Optical Properties of circulating human blood. BIOS Europe (1997)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Kraitl, J.: Optisches Monitoring für die in-vitro –Messung der Hämoglobin Konzentration und der Sauerstoffsättigung. In: BMT 2006, Zürich, Schweiz (2006)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Fricke, D., Koroll, H., Kraitl, J., Ewald, H.: Blood flow model for noninvasive diagnostics. In: Proceedings of IEEE GCC Conferenc and Exhibition, Dubai, UAE, pp. S.343–S.346 (2011) ISBN 978-1-62284-118-2Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kraitl, J., Ewald, H., Gehring, H.: An optical device to measure blood components by a photoplethysmographic method. J. Opt. A.: Pure Appl. Opt. 7, 318–324 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Kraitl, J., Timm, U., Lewis, E., Ewald, H.: Optical sensor technology for a noninvasive continuous monitoring of blood components. In: BIOS, SPIE Photonics West, San Francisco, CA, USA (2006)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Kraitl
    • 1
  • D. Klinger
    • 1
  • D. Fricke
    • 1
  • U. Timm
    • 1
  • H. Ewald
    • 1
  1. 1.University of RostockRostockGermany

Personalised recommendations