Assessing the Viscoelastic Properties of Thrombus Using a Solid-Sphere-Based Instantaneous Force Approach

Chih Chung Huang, Cho Chiang Shih, Ting Yu Liu, Po Yang Lee

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27 Citations (Scopus)


The viscoelastic properties of thrombus play a significant role when the clot closes a leak in a vessel of the blood circulation. The common method used to measure the viscoelastic properties of a clot employs a rheometer but this might be unsuitable due to the clot fiber network being broken up by excessive deformation. This study assessed the feasibility of using a novel acoustic method to assess the viscoelastic properties of blood clots. This method is based on monitoring the motion of a solid sphere in a blood clot induced by an applied instantaneous force. Experiments were performed in which a solid sphere was displaced by a 1 MHz single-element focused transducer, with a 20 MHz single-element focused transducer used to track this displacement. The spatiotemporal behavior of the sphere displacement was used to determine the viscoelastic properties of the clot. The experimental system was calibrated by measuring the viscoelastic modulus of gelatin using different types of solid spheres embedded in the phantoms and, then, the shear modulus and viscosity of porcine blood clots with hematocrits of 0% (plasma), 20% and 40% were assessed. The viscoelastic modulus of each clot sample was also measured directly by a rheometer for comparison. The results showed that the shear modulus increased from 173 ± 52 (mean ± SD) Pa for 40%-hematocrit blood clots to 619.5 ± 80.5 Pa for plasma blood clots, while the viscosity decreased from 0.32 ± 0.07 Pa.s to 0.16 ± 0.06 Pa.s, respectively, which indicated that the concentration of red blood cells and the amount of fibrinogen are the main determinants of the clot viscoelastic properties.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1722-1733
Number of pages12
JournalUltrasound in Medicine and Biology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Oct

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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