NeuroImaging systems are invaluable tools in the understanding of the brain both for fundamental research and clinical diagnosis. However, recent improvements in deep brain imaging technology have been somewhat limited because most of them are based on incremental innovation of mature techniques (EEG, PET and fMRI) instead of breakthrough.
In FUSIMAGINE, a genuinely new functional brain imaging modality will be developed and validated whose performances could have a major impact in neuroscience from fundamental research to clinical applications.
This new modality is based on the use of ultrafast ultrasound scanners able to reach more than 10 000 frames per second (fps) compared to the usual 50 fps in conventional ultrasound scanners. This concept relies on compounded plane wave transmissions introduced by my team and demonstrates up to 100-fold increase in the sensitivity of blood flow measurements. It enables to image the subtle hemodynamic changes in small brain vessels and thus brain activity thanks to neurovascular coupling. Functional Ultrasound (fUS by analogy to fMRI) is a real breakthrough in brain imaging as our project will demonstrate that:
in neuroscience, fUS provides a unique real time, portable and deep brain functional imaging technique for awake and even freely moving small animal imaging, moreover with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution (~100µm, 50ms).
in clinical diagnosis, fUS provides a unique bedside neuro-imaging system of newborns brain activity through the fontanel window. Such real time system will permit to monitor and better understand neonatal seizures and hemorrhages. On adults, fUS provides a unique functional imaging modality during neurosurgery to predict the cortical mapping remodeling resulting of tumor development (such as low-grade gliomas). Finally, new adaptive skull bone correction techniques implemented on the system will enable us to perform non invasive transcranial fUS imaging on human adults through the temple bone.
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