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A wide field-of-view, modular, high-density diffuse optical tomography system for minimally constrained three-dimensional functional neuroimaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Hubin Zhao, Sabrina Brigadoi, Danial Chitnis, Enrico de Vita, Marco Castellaro, Samuel Powell, Nicholas L. Everdell, Robert J. Cooper

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4110-4129
Number of pages20
JournalBiomedical Optics Express
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2020

King's Authors


The ability to produce high-quality images of human brain function in any environment and during unconstrained movement of the subject has long been a goal of neuroimaging research. Diffuse optical tomography, which uses the intensity of back-scattered near-infrared light from multiple source-detector pairs to image changes in haemoglobin concentrations in the brain, is uniquely placed to achieve this goal. Here, we describe a new generation of modular, fibre-less, high-density diffuse optical tomography technology that provides exceptional sensitivity, a large dynamic range, a field-of-view sufficient to cover approximately one-third of the adult scalp, and also incorporates dedicated motion sensing into each module. Using in-vivo measures, we demonstrate a noise-equivalent power of 318 fW, and an effective dynamic range of 142 dB. We describe the application of this system to a novel somatomotor neuroimaging paradigm that involves subjects walking and texting on a smartphone. Our results demonstrate that wearable high-density diffuse optical tomography permits three-dimensional imaging of the human brain function during overt movement of the subject; images of somatomotor cortical activation can be obtained while subjects move in a relatively unconstrained manner, and these images are in good agreement with those obtained while the subjects remain stationary. The scalable nature of the technology we described here paves the way for the routine acquisition of high-quality, three-dimensional, whole-cortex diffuse optical tomography images of cerebral haemodynamics, both inside and outside of the laboratory environment, which has profound implications for neuroscience.

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