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Design and validation of a mechanically flexible and ultra-lightweight high-density diffuse optical tomography system for functional neuroimaging of newborns

Zhao, H; Frijia, EM; Vidal Rosas, E; Collins-Jones, L; Smith, G; Nixon-Hill, R; Powell, S; ... Cooper, RJ; + view all (2021) Design and validation of a mechanically flexible and ultra-lightweight high-density diffuse optical tomography system for functional neuroimaging of newborns. Neurophotonics , 8 (1) , Article 015011. 10.1117/1.NPh.8.1.015011. Green open access

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Abstract

Significance: Neonates are a highly vulnerable population. The risk of brain injury is greater during the first days and weeks after birth than at any other time of life. Functional neuroimaging that can be performed longitudinally and at the cot-side has the potential to improve our understanding of the evolution of multiple forms of neurological injury over the perinatal period. However, existing technologies make it very difficult to perform repeated and/or long-duration functional neuroimaging experiments at the cot-side. Aim: We aimed to create a modular, high-density diffuse optical tomography (HD-DOT) technology specifically for neonatal applications that is ultra-lightweight, low profile and provides high mechanical flexibility. We then sought to validate this technology using an anatomically accurate dynamic phantom. Approach: An advanced 10-layer rigid-flexible printed circuit board technology was adopted as the basis for the DOT modules, which allows for a compact module design that also provides the flexibility needed to conform to the curved infant scalp. Two module layouts were implemented: dual-hexagon and triple-hexagon. Using in-built board-to-board connectors, the system can be configured to provide a vast range of possible layouts. Using epoxy resin, thermochromic dyes, and MRI-derived 3D-printed moulds, we constructed an electrically switchable, anatomically accurate dynamic phantom. This phantom was used to quantify the imaging performance of our flexible, modular HD-DOT system. Results: Using one particular module configuration designed to cover the infant sensorimotor system, the device provided 36 source and 48 detector positions, and over 700 viable DOT channels per wavelength, ranging from 10 to ∼ 45    mm over an area of approximately 60    cm 2 . The total weight of this system is only 70 g. The signal changes from the dynamic phantom, while slow, closely simulated real hemodynamic response functions. Using difference images obtained from the phantom, the measured 3D localization error provided by the system at the depth of the cortex was in the of range 3 to 6 mm, and the lateral image resolution at the depth of the neonatal cortex is estimated to be as good as 10 to 12 mm. Conclusions: The HD-DOT system described is ultra-low weight, low profile, can conform to the infant scalp, and provides excellent imaging performance. It is expected that this device will make functional neuroimaging of the neonatal brain at the cot-side significantly more practical and effective.

Type: Article
Title: Design and validation of a mechanically flexible and ultra-lightweight high-density diffuse optical tomography system for functional neuroimaging of newborns
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1117/1.NPh.8.1.015011
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1117/1.NPh.8.1.015011
Language: English
Additional information: © The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: diffuse optical tomography, dynamic phantom, flexible, functional near-infrared spectroscopy, high-density diffuse optical tomography, neonate, wearable
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Surgery and Interventional Sci > Department of Ortho and MSK Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Med Phys and Biomedical Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10125524
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