Research Summary: Computational Investigation on the Photoacoustics of Malaria Infected Red Blood Cells


A computer simulation study on the possibility of using photoacoustic (PA) technique to differentiate intraerythrocytic stages of malarial parasite is reported. This parasite during its development substantially converts hemoglobin into hemozoin. This conversion is expected to alter the cellular absorption leading to changes in the PA emission of a red blood cell (RBC) at certain incident optical wavelengths. The PA signals from blood samples corresponding to ring, trophozoite and schizont stages were computed and compared with that of normal blood. A Monte Carlo algorithm was implemented generating random locations of RBCs in 3D to simulate blood samples. The average PA amplitude for wide bandwidth signals decreases for 434 nm incident radiation, but increases for 700 nm as the parasite matures. The spectral power at 7.5 MHz for the blood sample at the schizont stage compared to the normal blood is nearly reduced by 6 dB and enhanced by 22 dB at those incident wavelengths, respectively. Bandlimited signals for transducers of 15 and 50 MHz center frequencies were studied and found to exhibit similar characteristics. The presence of hemozoin inside the cells was examined and an excellent estimation was made. The simulation results suggest that intraerythrocytic stages of malarial parasite may be assessed using the PA technique.


Publisher: Public Library of Science

Date Published: 14-December-2012

Author(s): Saha R., Karmakar S., Roy M.


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