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Published June 17, 2010 | Published
Journal Article Open

Neurovascular photoacoustic tomography


Neurovascular coupling refers to the relationship between neuronal activities and downstream hemodynamic responses. Photoacoustic tomography (PAT), enabling comprehensive label-free imaging of hemodynamic activities with highly scalable penetration and spatial resolution, has great potential in the study of neurovascular coupling. In this review, we first introduce the technical basis of hemodynamic PAT – including label-free quantification of total hemoglobin concentration, blood oxygenation, and blood flow – as well as its applications in hemodynamic monitoring. Then, we demonstrate the potential application of PAT in neurovascular imaging by highlighting representative studies on cerebral vascular responses to whisker stimulation and Alzheimer's disease. Finally, potential research directions and associated technical challenges are discussed.

Additional Information

© 2010 Hu and Wang. This is an open-access article subject to an exclusive license agreement between the authors and the Frontiers Research Foundation, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original authors and source are credited. Received: 02 March 2010; Paper pending published: 30 March 2010; Accepted: 26 May 2010; Published online: 17 June 2010. The authors appreciate Prof. James Ballard's close reading of the manuscript. This work was sponsored by National Institutes of Health Grants R01 EB000712, EB000712A2S1, R01 EB00071207S2, R01 EB008085, R01 CA113453901, U54 CA136398, and 5P60 DK02057933. L.V.W. has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work. Conflict of Interest Statement: L. V. Wang has a financial interest in Microphotoacoustics, Inc. and Endra, Inc., which, however, did not support this work.

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