QImaging has worked with University of Toronto researchers to create a minimally invasive custom imaging system.
University of Toronto scientists, consulting with QImaging engineers, have designed a compact, neuroimaging prototype for studying the effects of stroke recovery and epilepsy.
Due to its small size, the system is easily adaptable for use in a portable format for continuous monitoring of blood flow to the brain in non-anesthetised animals.
Published in Biomedical Optics Express, University of Toronto Assistant Professor Ofer Levi and colleagues demonstrated how they were able to simultaneously measure two modalities - blood oxygenation and flow speeds - in a single, compact system.
The system also allowed them to statistically distinguish between veins and arteries, something never before accomplished.
Other scaled-down imaging solutions are limited to tracking a single modality or require the use of multiple complex systems.
“Our goal is to create a smaller, portable version of the system that will allow us to image fully conscious, active animals participating in normal behaviors,” said Levi.
“This will enable long-term chronic monitoring of epilepsy dynamics and recovery from stroke in pre-clinical animal studies”.
“Our other objective is to create an instrument that can be used for clinical use in patients.
Levi simultaneously quantified flow changes in blood vessels and measured dynamics in oxygenation to track neural activity in real time using QImaging’s Rolera EM-C2 EMCCD camera.
The camera’s low read noise allowed Levi to more rapidly detect low light signals with high-sensitivity, enabling him to take advantage of the camera’s extremely high frame rates.
“We were able to show dynamics of flow and oxygenation changes in response to induced ischemia in a wide field of view with speeds that at times exceeded 100 frames per second making it possible to calibrate the entire brain flow map,” said Levi.
Levi chose to work with QImaging’s engineers for their technical expertise and biomedical imaging knowledge.
Together, they plan to disseminate the system to other labs conducting similar research.