Currently developing the use of time-resolved diffuse optical imaging for bedside imaging/monitoring of neonatal brain function. Also involved in producing diffuse optical imaging systems for commercial applications.
Research Items (18)
Tissue-equivalent phantoms that mimic the optical properties of human and animal tissues are commonly used in diffuse optical imaging research to characterize instrumentation or evaluate an image reconstruction method. Although many recipes have been produced for generating solid phantoms with specified absorption and transport scattering coefficients at visible and near-infrared wavelengths, the construction methods are generally time-consuming and are unable to create complex geometries. We present a method of generating phantoms using a standard 3D printer. A simple recipe was devised which enables printed phantoms to be produced with precisely known optical properties. To illustrate the capability of the method, we describe the creation of an anatomically accurate, tissue-equivalent premature infant head optical phantom with a hollow brain space based on MRI atlas data. A diffuse optical image of the phantom is acquired when a high contrast target is inserted into the hollow space filled with an aqueous scattering solution.
- Oct 2016
We present the first three-dimensional, functional images of the human brain to be obtained using a fibre-less, high-density diffuse optical tomography system. Our technology consists of independent, miniaturized, silicone-encapsulated DOT modules that can be placed directly on the scalp. Four of these modules were arranged to provide up to 128, dual-wavelength measurement channels over a scalp area of approximately 60 × 65 mm². Using a series of motor-cortex stimulation experiments, we demonstrate that this system can obtain high-quality, continuous-wave measurements at source-detector separations ranging from 14 to 55 mm in adults, in the presence of hair. We identify robust haemodynamic response functions in 5 out of 5 subjects, and present diffuse optical tomography images that depict functional haemodynamic responses that are well-localized in all three dimensions at both the individual and group levels. This prototype modular system paves the way for a new generation of wearable, wireless, high-density optical neuroimaging technologies.
Burst suppression (BS) is an electroencephalographic state associated with a profound inactivation of the brain. BS and pathological discontinuous electroencephalography (EEG) are often observed in term-age infants with neurological injury and can be indicative of a poor outcome and lifelong disability. Little is known about the neurophysiological mechanisms of BS or how the condition relates to the functional state of the neonatal brain. We used simultaneous EEG and diffuse optical tomography (DOT) to investigate whether bursts of EEG activity in infants with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy are associated with an observable cerebral hemodynamic response. We were able to identify significant changes in concentration of both oxy and deoxyhemoglobin that are temporally correlated with EEG bursts and present a relatively consistent morphology across six infants. Furthermore, DOT reveals patient-specific spatial distributions of this hemodynamic response that may be indicative of a complex pattern of cortical activation underlying discontinuous EEG activity that is not readily apparent in scalp EEG. © 2016 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE).
Seizures in the newborn brain represent a major challenge to neonatal medicine. Neonatal seizures are poorly classified, under-diagnosed, difficult to treat and are associated with poor neurodevelopmental outcome. Video-EEG is the current gold-standard approach for seizure detection and monitoring. Interpreting neonatal EEG requires expertise and the impact of seizures on the developing brain remains poorly understood. In this case study we present the first ever images of the haemodynamic impact of seizures on the human infant brain, obtained using simultaneous diffuse optical tomography (DOT) and video-EEG with whole-scalp coverage. Seven discrete periods of ictal electrographic activity were observed during a 60 minute recording of an infant with hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy. The resulting DOT images show a remarkably consistent, high-amplitude, biphasic pattern of changes in cortical blood volume and oxygenation in response to each electrographic event. While there is spatial variation across the cortex, the dominant haemodynamic response to seizure activity consists of an initial increase in cortical blood volume prior to a large and extended decrease typically lasting several minutes. This case study demonstrates the wealth of physiologically and clinically relevant information that DOT-EEG techniques can yield. The consistency and scale of the haemodynamic responses observed here also suggest that DOT-EEG has the potential to provide improved detection of neonatal seizures.
- Jan 2015
The production of accurate and independent images of the changes in concentration of oxyhemoglobin and deoxyhemoglobin by diffuse optical imaging is heavily dependent on which wavelengths of near-infrared light are chosen to interrogate the target tissue. Although wavelengths can be selected by theoretical methods, in practice the accuracy of reconstructed images will be affected by wavelength-specific and system-specific factors such as laser source power and detector sensitivity. We describe the application of a data-driven approach to optimum wavelength selection for the second generation of University College London's multichannel, time-domain optical tomography system (MONSTIR II). By performing a functional activation experiment using 12 different wavelengths between 690 and 870 nm, we were able to identify the combinations of 2, 3, and 4 wavelengths which most accurately reproduced the results obtained using all 12 wavelengths via an imaging approach. Our results show that the set of 2, 3, and 4 wavelengths which produce the most accurate images of functional activation are [770, 810], [770, 790, 850], and [730, 770, 810, 850] respectively, but also that the system is relatively robust to wavelength selection within certain limits. Although these results are specific to MONSTIR II, the approach we developed can be applied to other multispectral near-infrared spectroscopy and optical imaging systems. (C) 2015 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
We introduce a compact time-domain system for near-infrared spectroscopy using a spread spectrum technique. The proof-of-concept single channel instrument utilises a low-cost commercially available optical transceiver module as a light source, controlled by a Kintex 7 field programmable gate array (FPGA). The FPGA modulates the optical transceiver with maximum-length sequences at line rates up to 10Gb/s, allowing us to achieve an instrument response function with full width at half maximum under 600ps. The instrument is characterised through a set of detailed phantom measurements as well as proof-of-concept in vivo measurements, demonstrating performance comparable with conventional pulsed time-domain near-infrared spectroscopy systems.
Burst suppression is an electroencephalographic state associated with a profound inactivation of the brain. Burst suppression and pathological discontinuous electroencephalography (EEG) are often observed in term-age infants with neurological injury and can be indicative of a poor outcome and lifelong disability. Little is known about the neurophysiological mechanisms of BS or how the condition relates to the functional state of the neonatal brain. In this study, we used simultaneous EEG and Diffuse Optical Tomography (DOT) to investigate whether bursts of EEG activity in infants with hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy are associated with an observable cerebral haemodynamic response. We were able to identify significant changes in concentration of both oxy and de-oxyhaemoglobin that are temporally correlated with EEG bursts and present a relatively consistent morphology across six infants. Furthermore, DOT reveals patient-specific spatial distributions of this haemodynamic response that may be indicative of a complex pattern of cortical activation underlying discontinuous EEG activity that is not readily apparent in scalp EEG.
- Jan 2016
- Cancer Imaging and Therapy
We present a method for 3D printing tissue equivalent phantoms. Transmission of a clear printer resin was characterised in the near-infrared. Scattering pigment was added to the resin and used to 3D print a phantom with μs' = 0.74 mm-1 at 800 nm.
- Jan 2016
- Optical Tomography and Spectroscopy
Through application of spatio-temporal regularisation techniques, we demonstrate the real-time three-dimensional dynamic reconstruction of the optical properties of a hemispherical infant head phantom, with moving absorption and scattering targets.
- Jan 2016
- Oxygen Transport to Tissue XXXVII
Neurological brain injuries such as hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy (HIE) and associated conditions such as seizures have been associated with poor developmental outcome in neonates. Our limited knowledge of the neurological and cerebrovascular processes underlying seizures limits their diagnosis and timely treatment. Diffuse optical tomography (DOT) provides haemodynamic information in the form of changes in concentration of de/oxygenated haemoglobin, which can improve our understanding of seizures and the relationship between neural and vascular processes. Using simultaneous EEG-DOT, we observed distinct haemodynamic changes which are temporally correlated with electrographic seizures. Here, we present DOT-EEG data from two neonates clinically diagnosed as HIE. Our results highlight the wealth of mutually-informative data that can be obtained using DOT-EEG techniques to understand neurovascular coupling in HIE neonates.
- Dec 2015
In diffuse optical tomography (DOT), real-time image reconstruction of oxy- and deoxy-haemoglobin changes occurring in the brain could give valuable information in clinical care settings. Although non-linear reconstruction techniques could provide more accurate results, their computational burden makes them unsuitable for real-time applications. Linear techniques can be employed under the assumption that the expected change in absorption is small. Several approaches exist, differing primarily in their handling of regularization and the noise statistics. In real experiments, it is impossible to compute the true noise statistics, because of the presence of physiological oscillations in the measured data. This is even more critical in real-time applications, where no off-line filtering and averaging can be performed to reduce the noise level. Therefore, many studies substitute the noise covariance matrix with the identity matrix. In this paper, we examined two questions: does using the noise model with realistic, imperfect data yield an improvement in image quality compared to using the identity matrix; and what is the difference in quality between online and offline reconstructions. Bespoke test data were created using a novel process through which simulated changes in absorption were added to real resting-state DOT data. A realistic multi-layer head model was used as the geometry for the reconstruction. Results validated our assumptions, highlighting the validity of computing the noise statistics from the measured data for online image reconstruction, which was performed at 2 Hz. Our results can be directly extended to a real application where real-time imaging is required.
- Jun 2015
- European Conferences on Biomedical Optics
We present a method for acquiring whole-head images of changes in blood volume and oxygenation from the infant brain at cot-side using time-resolved diffuse optical tomography (TR-DOT). At UCL, we have built a portable TR-DOT device, known as MONSTIR II, which is capable of obtaining a whole-head (1024 channels) image sequence in 75 seconds. Datatypes extracted from the temporal point spread functions acquired by the system allow us to determine changes in absorption and reduced scattering coefficients within the interrogated tissue. This information can then be used to define clinically relevant measures, such as oxygen saturation, as well as to reconstruct images of relative changes in tissue chromophore concentration, notably those of oxy- and deoxyhaemoglobin. Additionally, the effective temporal resolution of our system is improved with spatio-temporal regularisation implemented through a Kalman filtering approach, allowing us to image transient haemodynamic changes. By using this filtering technique with intensity and mean time-of-flight datatypes, we have reconstructed images of changes in absorption and reduced scattering coefficients in a dynamic 2D phantom. These results demonstrate that MONSTIR II is capable of resolving slow changes in tissue optical properties within volumes that are comparable to the preterm head. Following this verification study, we are progressing to imaging a 3D dynamic phantom as well as the neonatal brain at cot-side. Our current study involves scanning healthy babies to demonstrate the quality of recordings we are able to achieve in this challenging patient population, with the eventual goal of imaging functional activation and seizures.
- Apr 2014
- Biomedical Optics
We present the first ever images of neonatal seizures, obtained using simultaneous diffuse optical imaging and EEG in a brain-injured infant. The haemodynamic correlate of electrographic seizures has a consistent, high-amplitude, biphasic morphology.
Although self-incompatibility (SI) in plants has been studied extensively, far less is known about interspecific reproductive barriers. One interspecific barrier, known as unilateral incongruity or incompatibility (UI), occurs when species display unidirectional compatibility in interspecific crosses. In the wild tomato species Solanum pennellii, both SI and self-compatible (SC) populations express UI when crossed with domesticated tomato, offering a useful model system to dissect the molecular mechanisms involved in reproductive barriers. In this study, the timing of reproductive barrier establishment during pistil development was determined in SI and SC accessions of S. pennellii using a semi-in vivo system to track pollen-tube growth in developing styles. Both SI and UI barriers were absent in styles 5 days prior to flower opening, but were established by 2 days before flower opening, with partial barriers detected during a transition period 3-4 days before flower opening. The developmental expression dynamics of known SI factors, S-RNases and HT proteins, was also examined. The accumulation of HT-A protein coincided temporally and spatially with UI barriers in developing pistils. Proteomic analysis of stigma/styles from key developmental stages showed a switch in protein profiles from cell-division-associated proteins in immature stigma/styles to a set of proteins in mature stigma/styles that included S-RNases, HT-A protein and proteins associated with cell-wall loosening and defense responses, which could be involved in pollen-pistil interactions. Other prominent proteins in mature stigma/styles were those involved in lipid metabolism, consistent with the accumulation of lipid-rich material during pistil maturation.
Awards & Achievements (4)
Scholarship · Dec 2013
UCL Dean's Prize
Grant · Sep 2012
Award · Apr 2012
Emma W. Locke Award
Award · Apr 2012
George Washington Scholar