Mickael Tanter gives an invited presentation on perspectives in functional ultrasonic Imaging of brain activity at the IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium in Prague, 21-25 July 2013. This presentation gave us the opportunity to present the previous work of our team, the basic principles and future applications of fUltrasound.
Title : fUltrasound : Functional Ultrasonic Imaging of Brain Activity
Functional imaging modalities such as fMRI or optical imaging identify regions of brain activity by measuring changes in blood flow thanks to the neurovascular coupling. Paradoxically, Ultrasound was not present in the field of Neuroscience till recently, whereas it is the most used modality for blood flow imaging in clinics. The reason for this was the poor sensitivity of Doppler ultrasound limiting blood flow imaging to large arteries. Ultrafast Doppler imaging based on plane wave imaging breaks this barrier and enabled recently the emergence of fUltrasound (by analogy to fMRI). fUltrasound (fUS) is able to provide unique whole brain images on small rodents with unprecedented resolutions (100 µm and 200 ms). Examples such as the functional imaging of cerebral blood volume during epileptic seizures, whisker or odor stimulations first emphasizes the potential of this new imaging modality to provide completely new information for the understanding of brain.fUS is a great tool for neuroimaging on small animals as it already helps both to answer unsolved questions and image the functional activity of to date unexplored brain regions. It should become a a full-fledged imaging modality of neuroscience as it provides the first whole brain and portable neuroimaging modality for awake and freely moving animal studies. Beyond small animal imaging, clinical fUS should become an alternative to fMRI in particular applications, such as newborns or preterm infants both for neonatal seizure monitoring or cognitive science studies. It could also become a powerful portable tool for neuroimaging during peroperative surgery on adults.