Journal article

Automated quantitative analysis of 3D morphology and mean corpuscular hemoglobin in human red blood cells stored in different periods

Quantitative phase (QP) images of red blood cells (RBCs), which are obtained by off-axis digital holographic microscopy, can provide quantitative information about three-dimensional (3D) morphology of human RBCs and the characteristic properties such as mean corpuscular hemoglobin (MCH) and MCH surface density (MCHSD). In this paper, we investigate modifications of the 3D morphology and MCH in RBCs induced by the period of storage time for the purpose of classification of RBCs with different periods of storage by using off-axis digital holographic microscopy. The classification of RBCs based on the duration of storage is highly relevant because a long storage of blood before transfusion may alter the functionality of RBCs and, therefore, cause complications in patients. To analyze any changes in the 3D morphology and MCH of RBCs due to storage, we use data sets from RBC samples stored for 8, 13, 16, 23, 27, 30, 34, 37, 40, 47, and 57 days, respectively. The data sets consist of more than 3,300 blood cells in eleven classes, with more than 300 blood cells per class. The classes indicate the storage period of RBCs and are listed in chronological order. Using the RBCs donated by healthy persons, the off-axis digital holographic microscopy reconstructs several quantitative phase images of RBC samples stored for eleven different periods. We employ marker-controlled watershed transform to remove the background in the RBC quantitative phase images obtained by the off-axis digital holographic microscopy. More than 300 single RBCs are extracted from the segmented quantitative phase images for each class. Such a large number of RBC samples enable us to obtain statistical distributions of the characteristic properties of RBCs after a specific period of storage. Experimental results show that the 3D morphology of the RBCs, in contrast to MCH, is essentially related to the aging of the RBCs. (C) 2013 Optical Society of America


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