Non-contact optical in-vivo sensing of cilia motion by analyzing speckle patterns

Doron Duadi, Nadav Shabairou, Adi Primov-Fever, Zeev Zalevsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cilia motion is an indicator of pathological-ciliary function, however current diagnosis relies on biopsies. In this paper, we propose an innovative approach for sensing cilia motility. We present an endoscopic configuration for measuring the motion frequency of cilia in the nasal cavity. The technique is based on temporal tracking of the reflected spatial distribution of defocused speckle patterns while illuminating the cilia with a laser. The setup splits the optical signal into two channels; One imaging channel is for the visualization of the physician and another is, defocusing channel, to capture the speckles. We present in-vivo measurements from healthy subjects undergoing endoscopic examination. We found an average motion frequency of around 7.3 Hz and 9.8 Hz in the antero-posterior nasal mucus (an area rich in cilia), which matches the normal cilia range of 7–16 Hz. Quantitative and precise measurements of cilia vibration will optimize the diagnosis and treatment of pathological-ciliary function. This method is simple, minimally invasive, inexpensive, and promising to distinguish between normal and ciliary dysfunction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number16614
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

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