Functional Neuroimaging using Ultra-WideBand Impulse Radar
Funding: Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) DTA
The ability to non-invasively image brain function is of clinical importance for diagnosis and treatment evaluation of neurological disorders, as well as for our basic understanding of the brain. Current technologies commonly used for functional neuroimaging (fMRI, PET, SPECT, EEG and MEG), are accompanied by either high costs, poor spatial resolution or require the injection of radioactive isotopes in the blood stream. These limitations often make the existing technologies less desirable for research applications.
A newly emerging technique that has lately received a lot of attention in the biomedical field, is active microwave imaging. Electromagnetic (EM) waves in the microwave frequency band are non-ionizing and have tissue-penetrating abilities. This makes them highly suitable for diagnostic applications. Indeed, recent attempts to detect bleeding stroke using microwave imaging have shown that EM waves in the microwave band transmit through the head and carry clinically relevant information.
In the current project we attempt to use microwave techniques for non-invasive functional neuroimaging. Specifically, we will use a single chip implementation of an impulse-radio ultra-wideband (IR-UWB) radar system to detect changes in regional cerebral blood volume. Compared to other microwave imaging approaches, UWB radar has the advantage of a high spatial resolution. In addition, it offers the temporal resolution that is required for detecting the haemodynamic response in the brain.
Recent technological advances have made UWB radar low power, mobile and more cost-effective. We intend to provide the first evidence that brain activity can be measured using radar techniques. Through our effort, we want to make functional neuroimaging more accessible to both researchers and clinicians.
- Lauteslager T, Nicolaou N, Lande TS, 2015, Functional neuroimaging Using UWB Impulse Radar: a Feasibility Study, IEEE Biomedical Circuits & Systems (BioCAS) Conference, Publisher: IEEE, Pages: 406-409