02 May 2019

Alan Urban

Brain-wide functional ultrasound imaging (fUSi) of intact circuit dynamics

Alan Urban

Title: Brain-wide functional ultrasound imaging (fUSi) of intact circuit dynamics

Affiliation: Neuro-Electronics Research Flanders, IMEC, VIB, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium


Functional ultrasound imaging (fUSi) is an innovative modality based on plane-wave Doppler ultrasound for detection of small hemodynamic changes in brain vessels during neuronal activity. The benefits of fUSi include a good spatial (approx. 100um3 voxel size) and temporal resolution (<100ms), a high sensitivity, a large field of view, an extended compatibility with electrophysiological recordings and optogenetics. fUSi can reliably map sensory-evoked responses in awake animals (head-fixed or freely moving) across several synapses with really few or even without temporal averaging. Therefore, fUSi is a complementary tool to decipher the complex links between brain activity and behavior in animal models. We also demonstrated that the fUSi technology is efficient to study cerebral blood flow regulation and neurovascular dysfunction in pathologies such as stroke, Alzheimer disease, traumatic brain injury or glioblastoma. Additionally, fUSi allows middle throughput pharmacological studies in vivo (ie target validation, measure of off-target effects…). On the bedside, fUSi is currently evaluated for diagnosis/monitoring in neonates and intraoperatively in adults for precise identification of eloquent brain regions during resection of pathological tissue such as pharmaco-resistant epilepsy or for tumor. The next generation of fUSi scanner for real-time 3D brain imaging in rodents is under development at the NERF.

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