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A new neuroimaging modality: from bench to bedside

Mid-Term Report Summary - FUSIMAGINE (A new neuroimaging modality: from bench to bedside)

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 new neuroimaging modality based on ultrasonic waves was 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 compared to the usual 50 frames per second in conventional ultrasound scanners. This concept relies on compounded plane wave transmissions introduced by our 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. In preclinical studies, Functional Ultrasound (fUS imaging by analogy to fMRI) is a real breakthrough in brain imaging as it provides a unique real time, portable and deep brain functional imaging technique for awake and freely moving small animal imaging, moreover with unprecedented spatiotemporal resolution (~80µm, 50ms). In clinical diagnosis, fUS provides a unique bedside neuro-imaging system of newborns brain activity through the fontanel window. We recently proved that real time system permits to map and better understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of neonatal seizures at bedside. On adults, fUS provides a unique functional imaging modality during neurosurgery and was shown to predict the cortical mapping remodeling resulting of tumor development (such as low-grade gliomas). The next step consists in developing skull bone correction techniques to perform non-invasive transcranial fUS imaging on human adults through the temple bone.