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Model-based image analysis of a tethered Brownian fibre for shear stress sensing

Gallagher, M. T.; Neal, C. V.; Arkill, K. P.; Smith, D. J.


M. T. Gallagher

C. V. Neal

D. J. Smith


The measurement of fluid dynamic shear stress acting on a biologically relevant surface is a challenging problem, particularly in the complex environment of, for example, the vasculature. While an experimental method for the direct detection of wall shear stress via the imaging of a synthetic biology nanorod has recently been developed, the data interpretation so far has been limited to phenomeno-logical random walk modelling, small-angle approximation, and image analysis techniques which do not take into account the production of an image from a three-dimensional subject. In this report, we develop a mathematical and statistical framework to estimate shear stress from rapid imaging sequences based firstly on stochastic modelling of the dynamics of a tethered Brownian fibre in shear flow, and secondly on a novel model-based image analysis, which reconstructs fibre positions by solving the inverse problem of image formation. This framework is tested on experimental data, providing the first mechanistically rational analysis of the novel assay. What follows further develops the established theory for an untethered particle in a semi-dilute suspension, which is of relevance to, for example, the study of Brownian nanowires without flow, and presents new ideas in the field of multi-disciplinary image analysis.


Gallagher, M. T., Neal, C. V., Arkill, K. P., & Smith, D. J. (2017). Model-based image analysis of a tethered Brownian fibre for shear stress sensing. Interface, 14(137), Article 20170564.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 7, 2017
Publication Date Dec 6, 2017
Deposit Date Dec 11, 2017
Publicly Available Date Dec 11, 2017
Journal Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Electronic ISSN 1742-5662
Publisher The Royal Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 14
Issue 137
Article Number 20170564
Keywords image analysis; wall shear stress; Brownian dynamics; regularized stokeslets; mathematical modelling; viscous fluid dynamics
Public URL
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20170564.full.pdf (2 Mb)

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