Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Biomedical Engineering

Research Advisor

Jack A. Buchanan, M.D.


Dr. Frances Tylavsky Dr. Russell Chesney Dr. Thaddeus Wilson


VeinViewer, vein, infrared imaging, ultrasound imaging, vein contrast, phlebotomy


Administration of fluids or medication and blood draw procedures require the nurse or the phlebotomist to access the veins in patients at hospitals or phlebotomy centers. It is important to minimize the discomfort associated with sticking needles in the patient more than once and most often, necessary to find an appropriate vein within few minutes. However, problems involved in accessing veins in pediatric and obese patients make it very difficult to perform a successful stick in a short time. The VeinViewer Imaging System is an infrared imaging device that provides the nurses and phlebotomists a means for locating veins in the very first attempt and within a few seconds. A camera captures an image of the veins illuminated by infrared light and a contrast-enhanced image of the veins is projected back onto the patient’s skin in real-time using a projector, after being processed by a computer. Each vein in the VeinViewer image appears with different contrast against the background skin. To evaluate the performance of the device, a thorough investigation of the properties of the vein affecting its contrast can be of immense value. The goal of this research is to determine quantitatively the effect of physical properties of veins such as depth and diameter on its visibility in the VeinViewer image. The results of this study can be interpreted to understand the biological phenomena influencing the quality of the VeinViewer image. An extension of this study may lead to advancement in the hardware or software which potentially will benefit the phlebotomists and physicians.