Regional Imager for Low-Resolution Functional Imaging of the Brain with Diffusing Near-Infrared Light


*To whom correspondence should be addressed at: Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA. Fax: 215-898-2010.


We have developed a near-infrared spectroscopy system for low-resolution regional imaging of the brain. Our regional imager employs two intensity-modulated (frequency-domain) diode lasers operating at 779 and 834 nm, respectively, in order to produce macroscopic waves of diffusing photons. The interaction of these diffusive waves with tissue depends on laser modulation frequency, laser wavelength and the optical properties of the sample tissue volume. The lasers can be modulated over a range of frequencies from 50 to 400 MHz. Light is coupled to and from the head using a pad that has 12 source and 4 detector positions within an area of approximately 40 cm2. The pad can be moved to different positions on the head. Measurements from different source-detector combinations enable reconstruction of low-resolution images of the tissue volume beneath the pad. For example, we have made two-dimensional back-projection images of model systems in order to demonstrate the capabilities of the regional imager. We also present preliminary results from initial clinical studies at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.