NIR spectroscopy tool 'interrogates' and shows how the brain relearns

May 28, 2014
Scientists at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics in Mexico have developed a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) instrument capable of identifying stroke-affected areas of the brain and the sites that were activated while analyzing the oxygen content in blood flow during therapy.

Scientists at the National Institute of Astrophysics, Optics and Electronics (INAOE; San Andrés Cholula, Puebla, Mexico) have developed a functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) instrument capable of identifying stroke-affected areas of the brain and the sites that were activated while analyzing the oxygen content in blood flow during therapy.

Related: Noninvasive optical method promises personalized stroke treatment

The device consists of a headband or helmet equipped with emitters and light detectors, an oximeter to measure oxygen levels, a monitor, and software, explains Carlos Gerardo Treviño Palacios, an INAOE researcher. "Its operation is based on IR light, which passes through the scalp to the skull leather and displays and 'interrogates' brain activity in order to obtain information on cell metabolism, alterations in blood flow, and amount of oxygen," he adds.

He highlights that so far, they are ending the development of an oximeter and software to display images. Also, they are analyzing information that will be provided to the base hardware and detectors, and working on the construction helmet. The device will not only help to rehabilitate patients, but will create a map of the brain to detect which parts are replacing areas that died in the motor cortex after stroke and watch how the body relearns with the help of rehabilitation.

"The aim is to build a noninvasive imaging system to avoid secluding the patient into a box camera during the shooting of brain 'photography' with the limitations of the procedure, as happens with an MRI," says Treviño Palacios.

Treviño Palacios notes that although the latter method also measures the concentration of oxygen, IR spectroscopy—despite having a lower resolution—does not require the patient to lie still and requires only the use of a helmet, allowing the physician to observe brain activity and progress while continuing the patient’s rehabilitation therapy. Additional advantages are system portability and low cost.

"In parallel, we are looking for a fast optical signal; i.e., a series of changes that occur a few milliseconds before the neuron is active in the images, which shows the action potential of the nerve cell," says Treviño Palacios.

"The particular characteristics of the optical imaging system make it a unique tool in certain problems where the in vivo and in situ neuroimaging is required noninvasively and continuously for long periods of time. This is the case of the study of brain plasticity in patients going through motor rehabilitation, which should be monitored while practicing neurorehabilitation exercises during therapy sessions that can last from 45 minutes to an hour," says Treviño Palacios.

The project is also supported by the National Institute of Neurology and Neurosurgery of the Mexican Ministry of Health.

-----

Don't miss Strategies in Biophotonics, a conference and exhibition dedicated to development and commercialization of bio-optics and biophotonics technologies!

Follow us on Twitter, 'like' us on Facebook, and join our group on LinkedIn

Subscribe now to BioOptics World magazine; it's free!

About the Author

BioOptics World Editors

We edited the content of this article, which was contributed by outside sources, to fit our style and substance requirements. (Editor’s Note: BioOptics World has folded as a brand and is now part of Laser Focus World, effective in 2022.)

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a quote: Micro 3D Printed Part or microArch micro-precision 3D printers

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a Micro 3D Printed Benchmark Part: Send us your file.

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!