Stony Brook Researchers Develop New Method to Measure Cerebral Blood Flow

Medical Center & Health Care

Stony Brook Researchers Develop New Method to Measure Cerebral Blood Flow
Technique gives doctors and researchers better tool for diagnosis and treatment

Professor Yingtian Pan, right, and his student Jiang You, left, and lab associate Ki Park, developed a quantitative imaging technique that shows how cocaine disrupts brain blood flow. The method may also be used to assess diseases as it can image slow capillary flow rates and distribution.

STONY BROOK, N.Y., September 15, 2014 – One thing leads to another, especially in research. When Stony Brook University School of Medicine scientists developed a new method to measure how cocaine disrupts blood flow in the brains of mice, doctors and researchers got a way to form a clearer picture of how drug abuse affects the brain. But the quantitative imaging technique can also be applied to other disease diagnoses and treatments as well, including cancer.
Department of Biomedical Engineering Professor Yingtian Pan, PhD, and his team published their findings in The Optical Society’s (OSA) open-access journal Biomedical Optics Express. The paper,
Optical coherence Doppler tomography for quantitative cerebral blood flow imaging
, describes a technique that focuses a Ti:Sapphire laser on the mouse brain cortex and collects and analyzes the reflected light. These findings are also highlighted in the current issue of
Neuroscience News
“Using ultrahigh-resolution optical coherence Doppler tomography, developed in our lab via advances in hardware and image processing, we can show neurovascular toxicity elicited by cocaine,” says Pan. “We can visualize, in animal models, the micro and regional ischemic effects [deficiency of blood flow] to the cerebral microvascular networks.”
What’s critical is the ability to measure both cerebral blood flow speeds inside tiny blood vessels and the larger network effects. “We show that quantitative flow imaging can provide a lot of useful physiological and functional information that we haven’t had access to before,” Dr. Pan says.

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