Image correlation method for measuring flow and diameter changes in contracting mesenteric microlymphatics in situ
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Collecting microlymphatics play a vital role in promoting lymph flow from the initial lymphatics in the interstitial spaces to the large transport lymph ducts. In most tissues, the primary mechanism for producing this flow is the spontaneous contractions of the lymphatic wall. Individual units, known as lymphangion, are separated by valves that help prevent backflow when the vessel contracts, thus promoting flow through the lymphatic network. Lymphatic contractile activity is inhibited by flow in isolated lymphatics, however there are virtually no in situ measurements of lymph flow in these vessels. One of the difficulties associated with obtaining such measurements is the time consuming methods of manual particle tracking used previously by our group. Using an in situ preparation with mesenteric microlymphatics ( 100 rn in diameter) and a high speed imaging system (500 fps), we have developed an image correlation method to measure lymphatic flow with a standard error of prediction of 0.3 mm/sec when compared with manual particle tracking.
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Imaging, Manipulation, and Analysis of Biomolecules, Cells, and Tissues IV