Spatiotemporal characterization of a fibrin clot using quantitative phase imaging
Studying the dynamics of fibrin clot formation and its morphology is an important problem in biology and has significant impact for several scientific and clinical applications. We present a label-free technique based on quantitative phase imaging to address this problem. Using quantitative phase information, we characterized fibrin polymerization in real-time and present a mathematical model describing the transition from liquid to gel state. By exploiting the inherent optical sectioning capability of our instrument, we measured the three-dimensional structure of the fibrin clot. From this data, we evaluated the fractal nature of the fibrin network and extracted the fractal dimension. Our non-invasive and speckle-free approach analyzes the clotting process without the need for external contrast agents.