Research Topic

Advances in Optics and Acoustics Towards Translational Functional Neuroimaging

About this Research Topic

Functional neuroimaging at high spatiotemporal resolution is an ultimate goal of neuroimaging either to support neuroscientific investigations or to guide clinical procedures in distinct neural systems from the brain to neuromuscular systems, and to peripheral nerve networks. For the last few decades, optical, acoustic, and photoacoustic neuroimaging modalities have thrived with compelling and promising progress extensively ranging from basic research to clinical translation, based on their advantages of versatile imaging configuration & spatiotemporal resolution, adaptable exogenous contrast, compactness, and minimally or totally non-invasiveness.
There are several conventional neuroimaging modalities available in clinics, but they have limitations suggesting desperate needs for new modality. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides stark molecular resolution and pharmacological contrast but suffers from painful temporal resolution at low spatial specificity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) offers a higher spatial resolution of functional neural activity in whole-brain; however, the recorded blood-oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal involves uncertain interpretation at low temporal resolution limited by hemodynamic response time (~several secs). Also, in PET and fMRI, the expansion into interventional guidance has been prevented other than diagnostics, due to no flexibility in system configuration. Conventional optical imaging has been used to monitor functioning brain and other neural interfaces at high temporal resolution, but have limited dynamic ranges and cover only superficial tissue depths at visible wavelength range, often requiring invasive craniotomy with problematic long-term consequences abandoning translational practicality to non-human primate and to human studies. Therefore, there is an utter need for a functional neuroimaging modality that provides high spatiotemporal resolution in versatile imaging configurations and wide/deep field-of-view with minimized invasiveness.

This Research Topic focused on translational endeavors of developing novel functional neuroimaging approaches based on optics and acoustics in the following subject areas:
• Optical/acoustic/photoacoustic functional neuroimaging of brain, neuromuscular systems, or nerve networks;
• Development, evaluation, and application of new biomarkers;
• Systems and applications of functional neuroimaging;
• Advanced signal & image processing to extract neural activities at high spatiotemporal / contrast resolution;
• Multi-modal, multi-parametric approach to quantify neural function;
• Imaging of neuromodulation (e.g., optogenetics, ultrasound, electrical array, etc.);
• Translational study of novel functional neuroimaging (e.g., detecting neurologic disorders or neurophysiologic challenges in the brain; nerve imaging for functional guidance of interventions).

Prof. Ping Yan is a cofounder and part-time employee of PotentiometricProbes LLC., Farmington, Connecticut, USA


Keywords: Functional Neuroimaging, Optics, Acoustics, Photoacoustics, Translational Research


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Functional neuroimaging at high spatiotemporal resolution is an ultimate goal of neuroimaging either to support neuroscientific investigations or to guide clinical procedures in distinct neural systems from the brain to neuromuscular systems, and to peripheral nerve networks. For the last few decades, optical, acoustic, and photoacoustic neuroimaging modalities have thrived with compelling and promising progress extensively ranging from basic research to clinical translation, based on their advantages of versatile imaging configuration & spatiotemporal resolution, adaptable exogenous contrast, compactness, and minimally or totally non-invasiveness.
There are several conventional neuroimaging modalities available in clinics, but they have limitations suggesting desperate needs for new modality. Positron emission tomography (PET) provides stark molecular resolution and pharmacological contrast but suffers from painful temporal resolution at low spatial specificity. Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) offers a higher spatial resolution of functional neural activity in whole-brain; however, the recorded blood-oxygenation level-dependent (BOLD) signal involves uncertain interpretation at low temporal resolution limited by hemodynamic response time (~several secs). Also, in PET and fMRI, the expansion into interventional guidance has been prevented other than diagnostics, due to no flexibility in system configuration. Conventional optical imaging has been used to monitor functioning brain and other neural interfaces at high temporal resolution, but have limited dynamic ranges and cover only superficial tissue depths at visible wavelength range, often requiring invasive craniotomy with problematic long-term consequences abandoning translational practicality to non-human primate and to human studies. Therefore, there is an utter need for a functional neuroimaging modality that provides high spatiotemporal resolution in versatile imaging configurations and wide/deep field-of-view with minimized invasiveness.

This Research Topic focused on translational endeavors of developing novel functional neuroimaging approaches based on optics and acoustics in the following subject areas:
• Optical/acoustic/photoacoustic functional neuroimaging of brain, neuromuscular systems, or nerve networks;
• Development, evaluation, and application of new biomarkers;
• Systems and applications of functional neuroimaging;
• Advanced signal & image processing to extract neural activities at high spatiotemporal / contrast resolution;
• Multi-modal, multi-parametric approach to quantify neural function;
• Imaging of neuromodulation (e.g., optogenetics, ultrasound, electrical array, etc.);
• Translational study of novel functional neuroimaging (e.g., detecting neurologic disorders or neurophysiologic challenges in the brain; nerve imaging for functional guidance of interventions).

Prof. Ping Yan is a cofounder and part-time employee of PotentiometricProbes LLC., Farmington, Connecticut, USA


Keywords: Functional Neuroimaging, Optics, Acoustics, Photoacoustics, Translational Research


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2020 Abstract
15 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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Topic Editors

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Submission Deadlines

15 December 2020 Abstract
15 May 2021 Manuscript

Participating Journals

Manuscripts can be submitted to this Research Topic via the following journals:

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